Arrested Development actor Jason Bateman has become a sought-after player in quirky social comedies, but the first trailer for his new film The Gift offers a reminder that the veteran actor can hold his own in a tense drama, too.
The directorial debut of actor/filmmaker Joel Edgerton (Warrior, The Great Gatsby), The Gift casts Bateman as Simon, one-half of a married couple (Rebecca Hall plays his wife, Robyn) whose future is looking bright — until they randomly bump into a former high-school classmate of Simon’s. The couple’s lives soon grow intertwined with that of the eccentric former classmate, driven by the frequent gifts he leaves on their doorstep. Things take a sinister spin, however, when dark secrets from Simon’s past emerge to threaten the couple’s seemingly perfect life.
Edgerton, who starred in the critically acclaimed Warrior and the recent Exodus: Gods and Kings, serves triple duty on the upcoming film, behind the camera as writer and director, and in front of the camera portraying Gordon, the pivotal former classmate.
Produced by Jason Blum (Whiplash, The Purge), The Gift was previously promoted under the working title “Weirdo,” but was subsequently retitled. The film was the focus of a recent promotional campaign (as reported by People.com) in which journalists and other media types received gifts from someone named “Gordo” (the nickname of Edgerton’s character in the film) that referenced events from their childhood with eerie detail. One reporter received a note referencing details of his sixth birthday party, while another received a toy puppet accompanied by a note that joked about her fear of puppets.
Along with Bateman, Hall, and Edgerton, the film also stars Beau Knapp, David Denman, Tim Griffin, and P.J. Byrne.
The Gift hits theaters July 31, and will likely make you think twice about attending your next high-school reunion.