The trailer for what could be one of the year's first major Oscar players has debuted, and it offers a decidedly intense depiction of a deadly night in Oakland, Calif.
"Fruitvale Station," slated for a July 12 limited release, bowed at the Sundance Film Festival in January to much critical fervor. Starring Michael B. Jordan ("The Wire," "Friday Night Lights"), Octavia Spencer, Kevin Durand ("Lost," "Dark Angel") and Chad Michael Murray, the film depicts the true story of 22-year-old Oscar Grant (Jordan), who was fatally shot by a police officer in an Oakland transit station on New Year's Day.
The high-adrenaline trailer enunciates the movie's energy, which seems to have more voltage than Sundance's typical Grand Jury Prize winners. The movie offers a reflection on race relations, which emerged in the aftermath of the 2009 incident on which the movie is based.
Originally titled simply "Fruitvale," "Fruitvale Station" is co-produced by Forest Whitaker and marks the first feature film for writer and director Ryan Coogler, who also works with incarcerated youth in the San Francisco area. The movie was such a success at Sundance that a bidding war for distribution followed its premiere, with the rights eventually being purchased by Oscar-bait studio The Weinstein Company for a reported $2 million.
"The pressure of playing a real person is 100-times greater [than normal]," Jordan told HuffPost at Sundance. "One day, his daughter is going to watch this movie. That was something I constantly thought about. His mom is going to watch this movie. I didn’t want to let anybody down. At the premiere in Sundance on Saturday, his aunt stood up and said, 'You know, Mike, there were certain times in the movie where I couldn't tell Oscar from you,' and that's the biggest compliment I ever could have gotten."