The ‘Antebellum’ Trailer With Janelle Monáe Shows Off A Time-Bending Mystery

The first teaser for Antebellum was a perplexing mystery. As I wrote at the time, “It appears to take place during the Civil War. But also now?” The new trailer, which you can watch above, doesn’t completely clear things up, but it adds some context to the horror-thriller. In Antebellum, successful author Veronica, played by Janelle Monáe, is stuck between now, the 2020s, and then, in the 1800s when slavery was legal. “This is definitely one of my most layered and toughest roles to date,” the actress and musician told the Huffington Post. “So I had to do some real meditation and prayer. I had to work out a lot. I had to get my head in the mental space to go through Veronica’s journey.”

Antebellum is based on a nightmare one of the film’s co-directors Gerard Bush had. “I felt like the woman in the nightmare was so desperate for help that she was screaming through multiple dimensions and that this could exist in a different space and time,” he said. “And then we built out the story. What people will experience in the movie is pretty much the nightmare.” Bush added that he and Christopher Renz wanted to make a movie about slavery with “time-bending” and “disorienting” storytelling.

Here’s the official plot synopsis:

Successful author Veronica Henley (played by Janelle Monáe) finds herself trapped in a horrifying reality and must uncover the mind-bending mystery before it’s too late. Antebellum is a terrifying new thriller from the producer of the acclaimed films Get Out and Us, and groundbreaking directors Gerard Bush and Christoper Renz (Bush+Renz), an exciting new voice in filmmaking.

Antebellum, which also stars Marque Richardson II, Eric Lange, Jack “Richard from Boardwalk Empire” Huston, Kiersey Clemons, Tongayi Chirisa, Gabourey Sidibe, Rob Aramayo, Lily Cowles, and Jena Malone, opens on April 24.