Watch an exclusive trailer for the Shakespeare film

By Maureen Lee Lenker
June 12, 2017 at 09:30 AM EDT

Over the centuries, A Midsummer Night’s Dream has remained one of Shakespeare’s most beloved and oft-performed plays. It has inspired two notable movie adaptations, 1935’s take featuring Olivia de Havilland in one of her first film roles and a star-studded 1999 rendition, which included the likes of Kevin Kline, Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Everett, and Christian Bale.

Now, filmmakers are bringing the play to the screen once more with an updated version starring American Horror Story’s Finn Wittrock and Lily Rabe, alongside Hamish Linklater, Rachael Leigh Cook, and more.

EW has an exclusive look at the trailer, which offers a contemporary take on the tale, appearing to relocate the events from ancient Greece to modern-day Los Angeles with shots of palm trees and a glimpse of the Echo Park Lake. We open with a speech from the fairy-king Oberon (Saul Williams) playing over a series of images of lovers’ trysts and groovy bohemian settings. The lovers now look to pursue each other in cars, and the trailer flits from recognizable facets of contemporary life to more ethereal shots of the woods and fairy bowers.

Most notably, the film appears to transform Nick Bottom’s (Fran Kranz) fairy-induced head from that of a donkey to a literal human posterior. Guess Oberon isn’t messing around when he says he’ll make Titania fall in love with an a—!

A Midsummer Night's Dream (2017) movie poster
Credit: Empyrean Pictures

The poster also emphasizes this more contemporary bohemian vibe inherent to what the filmmakers describe as a “fresh and stylish reinvention.” While this is a cinematic adaptation, at least two of the film’s leads are no strangers to Shakespeare on stage. Lily Rabe and Hamish Linklater have spent numerous summers at the Public Theater’s Delacorte Theater as part of the annual “Shakespeare in the Park” productions.

Get a first look at the film’s trailer and poster above. A Midsummer Night’s Dream will premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival on June 17.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

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  • Daniel Sullivan