J.K. Simmons holds the spotlight as a broken old man in the trailer for Michelle Schumacher’s drama, I’m Not Here. For years, Simmons made his trade as a celebrated character actor, playing everyone from Peter Parker’s delightfully loud-mouthed boss J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy to Ellen Page’s good-natured dad in Juno. However, since his Oscar-winning turn as the music conservatory instructor from hell in Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash four years ago, Simmons has started to get the spotlight to himself, more and more often.
While he’s continued to show up in everything from Justice League to Jason Reitman’s political drama The Front Runner, Simmons now has his own TV series in the form of Starz’s acclaimed sci-fi thriller Counterpart. He also plays the lead in I’m Not Here, his second collaboration with Schumacher after the comedy 3 Geezers! (which also marked the latter’s feature debut as director). The film arrives in theaters and On Demand next March, following its world premiere at the 2017 Raindance Film Festival and its screening at San Diego’s annual film festival earlier this year. In the meantime, a trailer has been released online, ahead of its debut.
As the trailer demonstrates, I’m Not Here is a showcase for not only Simmons, but also Sebastian Stan as the younger version of his character. It Follows‘ Maika Monroe also plays an important role here, as do Mandy Moore, Max Greenfield, and Young Sheldon‘s own Iain Armitage. You can watch the trailer below, followed by the film’s official synopsis.
Steve is haunted by his past as every object in his home, every sound he hears reminds him of a specific event in his life. Steve connects the events of his life to discover how he ended up alone and broken. As he relives each significant memory, he understands the generational issues that have held him captive like his father before him. Can he move past the pain and forgive his trespassers, and more importantly, forgive himself?
By the sound of it, I’m Not Here (which Schumacher also cowrote) moves back and forth in time in an effort to explore how toxic masculinity and conformity to gender roles not only poisoned the relationship between Steve’s parents (Moore and Greenfield), but also his own marriage to Karen (Monroe) when he was a younger man. The juxtaposition between warmly-lit scenes in Steve’s past and the increasingly darker glimpses of his failures as a husband – culminating with shots of an older and emaciated Steve shuffling around his shadowy home in the present – is pretty effective in the trailer, which bodes well for the film itself. Really, any movie that gives Simmons the spotlight is doing something right, and having Schumacher calling the shots only improves the odds of I’m Not Here making for an interesting study of a man trapped by his own flawed sense of masculinity.
I’m Not Here begins playing in theaters and On Demand March 8, 2019.
Source: Rubber Tree Productions