Half a decade after we first heard about Bradley Rust Gray‘s Jack and Diane, the teen lesbian werewolf picture is finally making its way into theaters this fall. You may recall that the film was originally set to star Ellen Page and Olivia Thirlby, then enjoying great buzz in the wake of Juno. But one setback after another plagued the project, and eventually the pair dropped out to be replaced by Juno Temple and Riley Keough.

The first official trailer for the film showcases its unusual combination of tender adolescent romance and gruesome body horror, the latter courtesy of some fantastic stop-motion work from the Quay Brothers. How well it balances the two is another question, but get a glimpse for yourself after the jump.

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Sometime around 2007, Juno BFFs Ellen Page and Olivia Thirlby signed themselves up to reunite as teenage lesbian werewolves on Bradley Rust Gray‘s Jack & Diane. Funding fell through, however, and after years of delays, both actresses quietly dropped out of the project. Page was then replaced by Alison Pill, who in turn was replaced by Juno Temple, while Thirlby’s part was recast with Riley Keough.

This year, Gray’s completed Jack & Diane finally made its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival. And while much about the film is tough to understand, what’s clear is that Page and Thirlby have dodged a bullet by leaving the project early on.

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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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Lesbian Werewolf Movie Jack And Diane DELAYED

Jack And Diane

While doing some research on Juno (what else), I came across an unfortunate bit of news about an indie film which I’ve been tracking for some time, Jack and Diane.

Bradley Rust Gray’s film is about two teenage lesbians (Ellen Page and Olivia Thirlby), who meet in New York City and spend the night kissing ferociously. Diane’s charming innocence quickly begins to open Jack’s tough skinned heart. But, when Jack discovers that Diane is leaving the country in a week she tries to push her away. Diane must struggle to keep their love alive while hiding the secret that her newly awakened sexual desire occasionally turns her into a werewolf.

Oliva Thrillby and Ellen PageJack and Diane was set to start production this fall, but I guess funding fell through recently.

“It’s a drag that we, as of yet, haven’t filmed it. But it will happen,” says Ellen Page. “It’s kind of super-subtle and not really ‘about’ anything. Not a lot happens, there’s no car explosions.”

Some critics (Ebert included) are even predicting that Page will earn an Oscar nomination for Juno. And I’m sure if that happens, funding will quickly follow. I just wish there were some company that would see the genius of this idea, and the potential marketability of Page the potential oscar hype, and get this project off the ground sooner rather than later.

In a world where venture capitalists are throwing money at the stupidest of stupid ideas, there must be someone with some cash that is willing to help this movie, right? Mark Cuban, where are you?

Photo credit: Scott McDermott

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