The King – Marketing Recap

Once more into the tale of the reluctant English king and the tumultuous life of the hero of Agincourt.

the king posterThe story of King Henry V, famously told over the course of several plays by William Shakespeare, once more comes to the screen in this week’s The King. Timothée Chalamet stars as Prince Hal, who’s living a life dreading the day when he eventually ascends to the throne of England.

When that day comes, the newly-crowned Harry finds that palace life is a constant fight for survival among the political schemers inhabiting the halls. Not only that, but he must finish the war his late father started. With such pressure and few allies, Harry turns to the advice of trusted advisor and friend John Falstaff (Joel Edgerton) to help survive threats both internal and external.

Netflix is putting the film, directed by David Michôd, who co-wrote it with Edgerton, in theaters for a limited time beginning this week before it comes to the streaming service in early November. With a 78% Rotten Tomatoes score, it’s just the latest high-profile drama to receive that kind of platform release from the company.

The Posters

Henry looks pensive and tortured on the poster (by marketing agency BOND), released in August. He’s dressed for battle and looks like he’s already been through more than a bit. “All hail” reads the copy placed in the middle of his chest.

The Trailers

Netflix released the first trailer (3.6 million views on YouTube) in August, just before the movie’s planned premiere at the Venice Film Festival. As it starts, Hal is ambivalent about the responsibility he’s been given and weighed down by the expectations of those around him. He needs people he can trust, a group that’s in short supply as he faces palace intrigue as well as actual war. Not much else is shown as the trailer is primarily aimed at establishing the look and feel of the movie and showing the dramatic performances from the lead cast.

Online and Social

Nothing here, though Netflix gave it some support on its brand social channels.

Advertising and Promotions

The movie had been in production at Warner Bros. for years, but Netflix acquired the project in early 2018.

In July the announcement came the movie would have its world premiere at this year’s Venice Film Festival. It also just screened at the recent BFI London Film Festival. It had its premiere red carpet in New York late last week.

There may have been some online ads, especially in the areas where the movie is playing in theaters. More are likely to come when it’s available via streaming.

Media and Press

A first-look photo featuring Chalamet was released at the time of the Venice Film Festival announcement. While the movie was at the festival, writer-director David Michôd was interviewed, commenting on why he chose to cast Pattinson in the film.

At the movie’s premiere in early October, Chalamet spoke about his approach to a character he was previously unfamiliar with and more.

Most of the rest of the press focused on Chalamet’s answers to unrelated questions like how he thought costar Robert Pattinson would do as Batman and such.


It’s a story that is likely familiar to most people who actually paid attention in junior year English class, but the addition of Chalamet, it’s hoped, brings more eyeballs to the project. The campaign obviously emphasizes his role in the movie, making sure to present him as a young man with the literal weight of the world on his shoulders.

“Prestige” is the primary message being sent. Netflix is selling the movie as a prestige film from a handful of very hot stars and filmmakers, the kind of thing that used to be commonplace in theaters every October and November. That’s communicated in the dim, dirty poster and the dramatic nature of the trailer, showing the toll all the intrigue and warfare takes on the soul of a young man who wants none of it.

Picking Up the Spare

Michod spoke here about Pattinson’s role and how the actor didn’t require much in the way of directing or coaching.

Netflix has begun running more online ads as the movie nears its release date on the streaming service. It also released a new trailer that positions it even more so as an epic political story.

Chalamet got another brief profile here.

More from Chalamet when he appeared on “Late Night” to promote this and other recent projects.

Netflix put out another featurette that shared some of the real stories behind Henry V and how that was represented in the film. A second has the film’s writers detailing how they shot the film’s key battle sequence.

How the movie’s production designer managed to recreate key locations is covered in this interview.

Boy Erased – Marketing Recap

boy erased poster 2The latest in a series of movies about parents dealing with their child’s sexuality, Boy Erased is directed by Joel Edgerton and stars Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe. They play Nancy and Marshall Eamons, parents of Jared (Lucas Hedges), who is gay.

That may not seem like a bad thing, but it is given that Marshall is a Baptist preacher. Jared is outed by his parents without his consent, after which he’s sent to controversial gay conversion therapy. So the story is about accepting – or not – who your kids are and the attitudes around whether that’s acceptable to parents or not.

The Posters

boy erased posterJared is shown in either deep contemplation or prayer on the first one-sheet, a reassuring parental hand seen on his shoulder. The names of the cast as well as the fact it’s based on a true story. The tagline at the top reads “The truth cannot be converted,” making the theme of the story explicit for the audience.

The second one-sheet places Jared between and in the background of his parents, an illuminated cross on the wall in the back. The same tagline is used and it’s clear that he’s causing strife in his family and division between his parents.

The Trailers

Jared has finally found the courage to come out to his parents in the first trailer, a declaration they just don’t accept. So they send him to a church-approved conversion camp where he’s told homosexuality isn’t natural and that God will never love him as long as he and the others insist on this identity. While there are plenty of scenes from that camp, the main focus of the trailer is on the dynamic between Jared and his parents and the conflict they feel between their love of their son and their love of God.

It’s a serious and sober-minded drama being sold here, one that has a lot of raw emotions on display. I’m hoping the story doesn’t paint all Christians as holding to the belief that homosexuality is an error to be corrected but is a bit more nuanced. Still, excellent performances all around are on display.

A second trailer was released just days before the movie was supposed to hit theaters that shows a lot more of what’s going on, from Jared coming out to his parents to them sending him away to be “fixed.” What’s different here is the extent to which his mother comes to his rescue when things clearly aren’t going right. The trailer ends with statistics about how many people are being held in therapy like what’s shown here and a link to the site to learn more.

Online and Social

Focus Features gave the movie its usual website treatment, opening with the trailer and giving way to full-motion video on the splash page. There don’t appear to be social profiles for the movie itself, just the studio. Scroll down and you’ll see some photos and an “About” synopsis but that’s it.

Advertising and Cross-Promotions

I’m not aware of anything paid on behalf of the movie, but it’s possible I’ve missed something.

Media and Publicity

Some of the first real publicity for the movie came when Edgerton and Hedges showed up at CinemaCon to help Focus Features show off a bit of footage and talk about why they found the story so compelling. Edgerton later was interviewed about what attracted him to the true-life story and how he went about conveying the difficult subject matter.

The movie was also part of the later CineEurope presentation from the studio and was later added to the Toronto Film Festival and the Austin Film Festival as well as the Telluride Film Festival. It was also the closing night film at the Hamptons International Film Festival.

An interview with Hedges at the same time as the Telluride appearance had the actor talking about the movie and his career as a whole, as well as how this role relates to his own journey to understand his sexuality more fully. Edgerton spoke more about the kind of story he wanted to make and why he made this movie at this time.

At the movie’s premiere, the real Jared’s mother spoke about how the story is personal to her and how seeing it on the screen felt to her.

Costar Troye Sivan hosted a couple preview clips, one released on National Coming Out Day where he talked about his own experience coming out and one a PSA for that advocates for the rejection of conversion therapy. Another had the cast celebrating “Spirit Day” to fight against bullying.

A video for the original song “Revelation” by Sivan and Jonsi came out in mid-October to help tap into the former’s fanbase.

Edgerton spoke about his opinion of conversion therapy and what prompted him to make the movie and tell this story.


As I stated at the opening, this is the third or fourth movie this year alone to tackle the idea of gay conversion therapy and similar topics. That means it has some competition for people’s attention. There’s nothing here that presents something wholly unique about this particular movie other than that it’s based on a true story, but even that has been done before.

That’s fine as it’s not that this isn’t a story that should be told and it’s certainly coming at a time when issues of identity are still at the forefront of our national conversation. It’s just that it may get lost in the shuffle and overshadowed by other events.

Picking Up The Spare

Edgerton spoke more in this interview about the process of making the movie and the responsibility he felt to tell the story. He also expressed some regret over not selling the movie to Netflix, saying that would have allowed more people to see it more readily. Hedges was also interviewed about some personal issues and how this movie fits into his other recent work. He also showed up on “Late Night.”

The Advocate was given a series of exclusive posters, a nice media partnership given the story’s subject matter.

The filmmakers helped create an original podcast series titled “UnErased” that offered insights into the history – and current practices – of the controversial gay conversion therapy that’s at the center of the film’s story.

Kidman noted this is one of two recent roles she’s taken where the character is a mother in a lot of pain over the choices they’ve made.

Gringo – Marketing Recap

gringo posterDavid Oyelowo, who to date has primarily in dramas, gets to flex his comedic muscles in this week’s Gringo. He plays Harold, a mid-level executive at a pharmaceutical company that’s looking to corner the market with an innovation around medical marijuana. To help bring that plan to fruition he’s dispatched by Richard and Elaine (Joel Edgerton and Charlize Theron, respectively), the company’s high-powered heads, to deliver a new formula to a plant in Mexico so production can begin.

Things go badly for Harold pretty quickly. What he thought was going to be a simple business trip turns into a life-or-death situation as he finds himself playing the pawn in the games being played on one hand by Richard and Elaine and on the other by the drug cartel they’ve honked off. It takes all his luck and wit just to stay alive as everyone, it seems, is gunning for him for various reasons. The only help he finds comes from the mercenary dispatched to find him (Sharlto Copley) and Sunny (Amanda Seyfried), a young woman who he meets in the course of his adventures.

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Red Sparrow – Marketing Recap

red sparrow posterWith so much conversation in the news about Russian intelligence operations and related issues, a movie about an undercover spy might seem a bit too real. But that’s exactly what we’re getting with this week’s Red Sparrow. Jennifer Lawrence plays Dominika Egorova, a young ballerina who is recruited into a special division of Russian intelligence called “Sparrow School” that specializes in turning young women into operatives capable of using any means at their disposal to achieve their objectives.

Her first mission is to target Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton), a CIA officer on his first assignment charged with managing the assets planted most deeply behind the Iron Curtain. When she arranges coincidental meetings between the two of them what starts out as pure manipulation and suspicion soon leads to something else that may have consequences not only for the two personally but the countries they’re proxies for.

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Bright – Marketing Recap

bright poster 2Director David Ayer reunites with his Suicide Squad star Will Smith in the new Netflix-original movie Bright. In the movie, Smith plays Daryl Ward, a police officer in an alternate world where mythical creatures like elves, orcs and others coexist alongside humans and have since forever. Now, Ward is the first human cop to be paired with an orc, Jakoby (Joel Edgerton).

While they’re still learning how to get along they discover the existence of a magic wand, a powerful magical weapon that can do whatever the wielder wishes. There are various very bad people – and plenty of others – trying to get their hands on the wand but it’s up to Ward and Jakoby to keep it out of dangerous hands and make sure it can’t do any more harm.

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