Ever wonder what it would be like to be a human lab rat, conditioned to experience hallucinations, topped off with alternate realities? While that's super specific, your dreams might be a reality soon. The new Maniac trailer reunites Emma Stone and Jonah Hill, and shows them in a trippy world where they partake in a drug trial that has some interesting consequences.
Directed by Cary Fukunaga, who was behind Jane Eyre, Season 1 of True Detective, and Beasts of No Nation, Netflix's new series Maniac is a black comedy about two people in a crazy experiment, led by Justin Theroux's character, Dr. James K. Mantleray. From the moment the trailer starts, you can tell there's a lot of psychoanalysis in store for Stone's and Hill's characters. Owen (Hill) thinks something's wrong with him or his brain. Annie (Stone) on the other hand seems skeptical of it all. And both of them have intense sessions with Dr. Mantleray in this voluntary trial. The trailer doesn't gives away too much, like why Annie is interested in this trial, or what the end goal is for these test subjects, but in the short clip, Annie describes it as a "multi-realty, brain-magic shit," so she might not be as into the mission or outcome as Owen is.
When this project was first announced back in April, fans of Stone and Hill couldn't help but bring up their past movie together, Superbad, where Hill's character, Seth, was trying to get with Jules (played by Stone). One fan tweeted "11 years later, Seth and Jules finally stayed together, but with an unexpected turn wow I love this superbad sequel
#maniac," while another showed one of the best glow ups ever.
This reunion seems a bit more serious than their previous work on the surface, but if the tags on the Netflix page mean anything, Maniac will still be a comedy of sorts, promising an "offbeat, cerebral, mind-bending, absurd" journey. Hill and Stone might not be reprising their comedic roles as Seth and Jules, but the awkward claps and wacky dream scenarios certainly look like a good time. And with 10 episodes worth, it should be enough to draw fans in.
Maniac is based on a Norwegian TV show of the same name that premiered back in 2014, about a man in a mental institution who was convinced his dreams were actually his realty. Could this new Maniac pull a Sixth Sense and be the complete opposite of what it seems to be from the start? If so, the vibrant colors and wild costumes from their multiverse realities would definitely add to this theory.
This first full length Manic trailer poses more question than it answers, but one thing that is made abundantly clear is that this human experiment has to do with the human mind. In the trailer, Thoroux's character presents the group with the hypothesis that he can change how the mind processes pain and stating that "the mind can be solved." In other words, anything Owen might think is wrong with him, any problem, or heartbreak, or struggle people have can be fixed. Or, at least, that's the goal. They just have to survive the study first.