Brody tells EW that his 5-year-old daughter influenced his decision to play the man-child detective character.

By Omar Sanchez
October 12, 2020 at 03:00 PM EDT
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For those wondering what it would be like to overhear Enola Holmes or the Hardy Boys in therapy, Adam Brody in the upcoming The Kid Detective is here to give you a front-row seat to the crying circle.

EW has your exclusive first look at Brody's upcoming lead role in the satirical dramaa redemption story of a child prodigy turned man-child named Abe Applebaum (Brody).

At the age of 13, Abe was hitting his peak as a local celebrity sleuth after tracking down who stole the cash box at the town's school prom. His career was destined to be written in legend.

Cut to decades later, and Abe is still only solving kid mysteries. This between getting drugged out and being publicly embarrassed by his parents, whose wavering support for their child gets more and more pathetic as the years go on. "I was so far ahead of the game. One day I just woke up behind," Brody's voiceover says in the exclusive trailer above.

Brody tells EW that Abe is introduced as the "self-absorbed and somewhat pathetic sleuth." "He's obviously stunted," the former O.C. star says. "There's unexamined trauma there. In detective stories there are archetypes. There's the sleuth, the boozy sleuth, the down-on-his-luck sleuth, but then there's also [Abe]."

A client played by teen actress Sophie Nélisse finally brings Abe his first “adult” case: catch the person who brutally murdered her boyfriend ala CW's Riverdale. As seen in the trailer, the murder to solve is pretty serious, but Applebaum insists on doing it old-school. That includes sneaking into closets, hiding under beds, and slapping kids on stoops for disrespecting him.

Applebaum typically works for chump change from his dusty Sherlock Holmes-adjacent office (how's he still getting good rent prices for that?). Like the patterned frosted glass door in noir and pulp novels, Kid Detective is chock-full of witty turns on classic murder-mystery tropes, including title cards swooping in from time to time and a car chase sequence you are going to need to see to believe.

Credit: Stage 6 Films

Kid Detective is directed by first-time feature director Evan Morgan. Morgan's 2013 film The Dirties caught the eye of Brody, the actor says, for the way it's able to transition seamlessly between its drama and comedy, a goal in Kid Detective as well. "Even in the darkest of times, I'm drawn to this macabre sense of humor. Certainly, I have it. Certainly, Evan does too," he says.

Brody, who recently appeared in the Samara Weaving-led thriller Ready or Not, rose to fame as the cute boyfriend next door in TV shows like Gilmore GirlsandThe O.C., and the 2009 cult classic movie Jennifer's BodyBrody says he was drawn to the story of Kid Detective because of his 5-year-old daughter Arlo (Brody just had his second baby with wife Leighton Meester a few weeks ago).

"She asks me all day, it's like, 'What's this? What's that? What is that wire? She just has like 1,000 questions of the world. What I find myself always keeping in mind is how impressionable kids are. For example, my dad, as a joke as a kid, I was very into basketball, and in elementary school, he told me my grandpa, who had a wide nose, was the first Jewish man to dunk so he broke it. I remember all that stuff. I want to distill things down to a way she can understand and that won't leave a bad impression for her."

The Kid Detective comes out this Friday, Oct. 16, in theaters. Watch the trailer above.

Video courtesy of Stage 6.

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