“How do you change yourself?”
That’s the question Bruce Springsteen asks at the opening of the trailer for his new cinematic endeavor Western Stars, a film version of his latest solo album. (Watch the trailer above.)
On Friday, it was announced that Warner Bros. will release the film in theaters. (The studio recently released the Springsteen lovefest Blinded by the Light as well). As showcased in the trailer, Western Stars gives fans the chance to see Springsteen perform all 13 songs on the album in the setting of the singer’s almost 100-year-old barn. Springsteen is making his directorial debut on the project, co-directing alongside Thom Zimny, who helmed the Netflix filmed version of Springsteen on Broadway, which has been nominated for two Emmys.
“We’ve got a 100-year-old barn filled with the best kinds of ghosts and spirits. We got to play for a few friends. You never know what’s going to happen with new music,” Springsteen says in voice-over. The trailer showcases clips of him playing his concert, as well as footage from various music videos attached to the Western Stars album and numerous clips from what appears to be Springsteen’s own home videos of his life with his wife, Patti Scialfa, and kids.
“It’s easy to lose yourself or never find yourself. The older you get, the heavier that baggage becomes that you haven’t sorted through, so you run,” Springsteen says in the trailer. “I’ve done a lot of that kind of running. I’ve spent 35 years trying to learn how to let go of the destructive parts of my character. And I still have days when I struggle with it. We all have our broken pieces… we’re always trying to find somebody whose broken pieces fit with our broken pieces and something whole emerges. A certain kind of magic took place, the music began to take on a life of its own. Life’s mysteries remain and deepen. Its answers unresolved, so you walk on through the dark because that’s where the next morning is.”
The film appears to combine much introspection from the legendary rock star, akin to the storytelling and soul-searching he did each night on stage in Springsteen on Broadway. If Springsteen wins an Emmy for that Netflix special, he’ll join the EGOT club. But the Boss isn’t slowing down, as this project indicates.
“Bruce lives in the super-rarified air of artists who have blazed new and important trails deep into their careers,” said Toby Emmerich, chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, in a statement. “With Western Stars, Bruce is pivoting yet again, taking us with him on an emotional and introspective cinematic journey, looking back and looking ahead. As one of his many fans for over 40 years, I couldn’t be happier to be a rider on this train with Bruce and Thom.”
Western Stars is Springsteen’s 19th studio album, and it’s hit No. 1 on iTunes charts around the world. “Placing intricately detailed portraiture on massive musical backdrops has been a Springsteen trademark for years, of course, and Western Stars continues this legacy, transforming the enormous into the intimate,” EW said in our review.
The film is poised to make its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and will hit theaters in October.