Malcolm & Marie—which has already earned its spot on Glamour’s most anticipated movies of 2021 list—is a romantic drama following Malcolm (John David Washington), a filmmaker returning home to his girlfriend, Marie (Zendaya), after the premiere of his film. As the couple eagerly awaits the critical response to his project, “the evening suddenly takes a turn as revelations about their relationship begin to surface.”
As you can see in the trailer, below, emotions run the gamut in this Netflix film from Euphoria creator Sam Levinson, who directed and produced this film in its entirety during quarantine in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Mystery. Unknown. It’s what supports the tension of a relationship. The what-if factor,” Zendaya’s Marie narrates over a particularly tense moment in the kitchen. “What if there’s someone who loved them better?” Given the film’s intimate timeline—one night in the life of a Hollywood couple—I’m already getting serious Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? vibes.
According to the Deadline announcement back in July 2020, we have Zendaya herself to thank for this film. Apparently, she called up Levinson to see if he’d be able to write and direct a film amid lockdown. In just six days, he wrote the script for Malcolm & Marie, and they went into production on June 17. Wrapping in under a month, the entire movie was shot at the Caterpillar House in Carmel, California under strict coronavirus safety regulations.
“This is not a love story,” the trailer promises. “This is the story of love.” Those are some big promises to deliver on, but if anyone can do it, it’s Zendaya.
Malcolm & Marie drops on Netflix February 5.