The extravagant upcoming film has also got a new release date, leaving just enough room to qualify for the 2021 awards season.

By David Canfield
October 11, 2020 at 10:08 AM EDT
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Jamie New has set a new first date with audiences — and he's also finally ready to say hello in person.

The hero of 20th Century Studios' upcoming Everybody's Talking About Jamie, an adaptation of the acclaimed musical of the same name and based on true events, gets a grand introduction in the film's first trailer, which you can watch above. Following a 16-year-old gay teenager (played in the movie by newcomer Max Harwood) who makes a plan to come out as a drag queen at prom, the story's spirit is one of acceptance, celebration, and vibrant color. As EW revealed in our first-look feature back in the spring, the only mandate of the stage-to-screen transition was to go bigger — and gayer.

The first trailer introduces the cinematic scale that director Jonathan Buttrell, writer Tom MacRae, and composer/songwriter Dan Gillespie Sells (who were all part of the stage show's Sheffield, England origins) hope to bring to the movie.

"I'm just excited for people to see how much joy we've managed to pack onto one screen: an unprecedented amount of joy," MacRae, who also wrote the book for the original musical, tells EW. "And I think it's going to just make people smile from ear to ear, and then shed some tears as well, because you have to earn the big smiles at the end. The trailer really just shows what we've been boiling up in our little secret cauldron for all these years."

20th Century Studios

Adds Buttrell, "[The trailer] delivers the absolute scale of this [film] and the kind of fabulousness, hopefully, of it. But I think it also delivers the emotional heart that's at the very center of the story as well."

Like most completed studio films, Jamie's road to premiere has been significantly complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally set to debut this year, it'd previously received a tentative push into January; now, the movie has a confirmed new release date of Feb. 26 (still in time to qualify for the 2021 Academy Awards, should it emerge as a contender). But for all the frustrating delays, the team behind Jamie argue the movie's feel-good vibes will resonate more than they previously thought possible.

"That's another thing we miss: We need to be taken on these journeys, we need to go on these rides, because it takes us out of ourselves," Gillespie Sells says. "It's a spiritual thing almost. It's been a real joy, and that joy's going to come across out of the screens and out of the speakers into these cinemas, and ideally it will be something that moves everyone and takes everyone on a beautiful journey. I think we need it. You know what: It's time to party."

Along with Harwood, Everybody's Talking About Jamie costars Sharon Hordan, Richard E. Grant, Sarah Lancashire, Lauren Patel, Shobna Gulati, Ralph Ineson, Adeel Akhtar, and Sam Bottomley. Watch the trailer above.

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