The most striking image in the new trailer for Promising Young Woman features Carey Mulligan wielding a scalpel while wearing a latex nurse costume. “I wanted to be a doctor my whole life,” she teases. “Lately, I’ve been feeling like I might want to get back into it.” What would be exploited as a male gaze-fueled fantasy trope in another movie is instead the siren song of revenge. Mulligan’s character Cassie, once considered full of promise, is now committed to setting the insidious, self-professed “nice guys” of the world straight after suffering a mysterious trauma. “Every week, I go to a club. I act like I’m too drunk to stand. And every week, a nice guy comes over to see if I’m okay,” she says in voiceover. When the guy attempts to take advantage of her, she enacts unseen retribution.
Promising Young Woman is the debut feature from Emerald Fennell, who wrote and directed the thriller slated to premiere at Sundance in January. Fennell is already one of the most in-demand creatives in Hollywood, having written and executive-produced season 2 of Killing Eve and starring in seasons 3 and 4 of The Crown as Camilla Parker-Bowles.
An official synopsis for Promising Young Woman reads, “Everyone said Cassie was a promising young woman…until a mysterious event abruptly derailed her future. But nothing in Cassie’s life is what it appears to be: She’s wickedly smart, tantalizingly cunning, and she’s living a secret double life by night. Now, an unexpected encounter is about to give Cassie a chance to right the wrongs of the past in this thrilling and wildly entertaining story.”
The Margot Robbie-produced film boasts an intriguing ensemble cast, including Bo Burnham, Alison Brie, Connie Britton, Adam Brody, Jennifer Coolidge, Laverne Cox, Max Greenfield, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chris Lowell, Sam Richardson, Molly Shannon, and Clancy Brown.
Focus Features will release Promising Young Woman on April 17, 2020.