Filmmaker Reinaldo Marcus Green (“Stop”) gave audiences a peek into his upcoming movie "Monsters and Men" with a short scene that aired ahead of the film’s Sundance Film Festival premiere in January. Now, Green and distributing studio Neon have lifted the veil even more with the film’s first trailer, which premiered on Tuesday (May 1).
The trailer’s earliest scenes show Manny Ortega (Anthony Ramos, Netflix’s "She’s Gotta Have It") as he films a crime scene with several uniformed New York Police Department officers on his cell phone. As he records, a gunshot rings out off camera.
The trailer then shows Ortega and his fellow residents of Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood dealing with the aftermath of what turns out to be the shooting of an unarmed Black man. Ortega encounters growing pressure from police not to reveal what he caught on camera. One officer, Dennis (John David Washington, “Ballers”), argues with Black friends about justification for the shooting at a dinner party. High schooler Zee (Kelvin Harrison Jr., "It Comes at Night") argues with his father Will (Rob Morgan, "Stranger Things") over the child attending rallies for police accountability, even if it risks Zee losing a prestigious athletic scholarship.
Green told Deadline that he took inspiration from real life shootings of unarmed Black people in the United States when making the film. "It’s talking about the cycle, rather than one particular case, because these things are happening all the time—it’s happening everywhere, and I didn’t want it to feel like one isolated thing," he said.
"Monsters and Men" debuts in theaters at a still unannouced date in the fall.