Joel Edgerton Coaches An Underdog Rowing Team in George Clooney’s ‘Boys in the Boat’ Trailer (Video)

The Depression-set drama arrives in theaters from Amazon and MGM on Christmas Day

When money, food and shelter were in short supply, joining a rowing team was a matter of life and death. That’s the hook in George Clooney’s latest directorial effort, “The Boys in the Boat.”

Based on Daniel James Brown’s non-fiction novel, the picture concerns the 1936 University of Washington rowing team that competed at the Summer Olympics in Berlin. The trailer hits all the underdog sports team cliches, although cliches become as much for a reason. The picture looks handsomely staged and impeccably acted by the likes of Joel Edgerton and Callum Turner. 

This marks Clooney’s first directorial effort since the Ben Affleck-starring “The Tender Bar” in 2021. It’s unquestionably a sign of the times that Clooney hasn’t directed a feature for a theatrically focused studio since “Rubicon” for Paramount in late 2017.

To be fair, Amazon and MGM Studios will give this Spyglass/Smokehouse feature a theatrical release beginning on Christmas Day. That’s mostly marketing for the eventual Prime Video debut, both in terms of building awareness and creating prestige. Still, tech companies with deep pockets and streaming aspirations may be a key component of the future for this kind of non-franchise studio programmer.  

Penned by Mark L. Smith, “The Boys in the Boat” is produced by Clooney and his longtime professional partner Grant Heslov. Kevin Ulrich, Barbare A. Hall, Gary Barber and Peter Oillataguerre are executive producers.  

With its Christmas Day release, “The Boys in the Boat” will face off against (or, ideally, play alongside) the likes of “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” Illumination’s “Migration,” the Zac Efron/Jeremy Allen White wrestling melodrama “The Iron Claw,” the Glen Powell/Sydney Sweeney rom-com “Anyone But You” and the Oprah Winfrey-produced adaptation of the stage version of “The Color Purple.” Barring a strike-related release date shakeup, this will be the first genuinely crowded holiday season since 2019.  


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