Nostalgia can be dangerous, as Hugh Jackman will learn in Westworld co-creator Lisa Joy's directorial debut, Reminiscence. The science-fiction noir thriller just got its first trailer, ahead of its Aug. 20 release in theaters. The film, which also stars Westworld's Thandiwe Newton, will also be available to stream on HBO Max for the first month after its release.
Reminiscence is set in a near-future where Miami is being flooded by rising seas. Jackman stars as Nicolas "Nick" Bannister, who has proved himself to be an expert in a very dangerous job. He provides people who need an escape from reality with the opportunity to revisit any memories they wish. With that set as the backdrop, Jackman meets a mysterious woman named Mae, played by Doctor Sleep's Rebecca Ferguson. At first, they have a passionate love affair, but one of Nick's clients has memories that link Mae with violent crimes. Nick falls down a dangerous path to learn the truth behind this strange woman.
The rest of the cast includes Daniel Wu, Cliff Curtis, Nico Parker, Angela Sarafyan, Natalie Martinez, Marina de Tavira, Mojean Aria, and Brett Cullen. It was written and directed by Joy, who developed HBO's Westworld series with Jonathan Nolan. The film includes other Westworld veterans, including cinematographer Paul Cameron. Nolan, Joy, Aaron Ryder, and Michael De Luca are the producers.
During a trailer premiere event on Wednesday, Joy called Reminiscence a "labor of love" she worked on while she was pregnant, notes Deadline. Jackman called the movie "something new and original" that is not "just sci-fi - this is humanity." He later joked that he would still like to star in Westworld, but "I have a gut feeling [Reminiscence] will connect in all different places." Joy later said that science fiction is a "metaphor on a grand scale" for her, adding that the genre can be used as a "way of examining the world around us."
Joy was also inspired to write by a photo she saw among her late father's belongings. The photo showed a woman he met during a war, but they never met again. Clearly, her father did not want to forget about the woman, since he kept her photo. "Something about her made such an impression that it made him name his house after her, and he kept the photo," Joy said, notes Polygon. She wanted to make a film that explored how a single, brief moment can change a person's life and "how nice it would be to go back to those memories fully, and feel the way you felt when you experienced them."