Sony Picture Classics (SPC) has released the first trailer for Woody Allen‘s upcoming comedy Irrational Man, which stars Joaquin Phoenix (Inherent Vice) and Emma Stone (Birdman). The movie tells the story of a depressed philosophy professor (Phoenix) with an existential problem who takes a job in a small town college. When he develops a relationship with one of his students (Stone), he takes on a much lighter perspective on life.
Based on the trailer, the movie looks like it will take on the similar melancholic comedic tone of much of Allen’s other work. SPC will have to hope it is an improvement over Allen’s previous collabroation with Stone, 2014’s Magic in the Moonlight, which failed to capture audience or critical acclaim. It appears as though Stone will play a much more grounded character here, which plays well to her comedic strengths. Along with lending her voice in The Croods 2 and starring in Cameron Crowe’s romantic drama Aloha, Stone is also rumored to be in Damien Chazelle’s (Whiplash) upcoming musical La La Land with her Crazy, Stupid, Love. co-star Ryan Gosling (whose participation has also yet to be confirmed).
This also looks like it will be Phoenix’s lightest role in some time, which will be welcome after his starring roles in 2012’s The Master and 2013’s The Immigrant. He showed off some of his comedic chops in last year’s Inherent Vice, but his character here doesn’t look to be as “out there” and will hopefully be more accessible to audiences.
Allen, who has consistently put out at least one new film for the past 34 years, is planning two untitled projects for next year including a film starring Kristen Stewart, Bruce Willis, and Jesse Eisenberg. He’s also creating his first TV series for Amazon.
Irrational Man is set to be released July 24. Check out the trailer below.