Evan Rachel Wood goes “Across the Universe”

When I saw Hairspray last month, I was treated to the trailer for Across the Universe, Julie Taymor‘s new project. Taymor is best known for the Broadway smash The Lion King and for the movies Frida and Titus.

The press release describes Across the Universe as a “stunning love story set against the backdrop of the 1960s amid the turbulent years of anti-war protest, mind exploration and rock ‘n’ roll.” It stars Evan Rachel Wood and Jim Sturgess as star-crossed lovers Lucy and Jude. And Wood looks much more like herself in this one (not that she could look less like herself than she did in that Marilyn Manson video).

The film flies from Liverpool to Greenwich Village to Detroit to Vietnam, following Lucy and Jude as they explore all the nooks and crannies of the counterculture. Their guides along the way are played by
Bono and Eddie Izzard. (Sounds like a surefire way to get lost.) Throw in a soundtrack composed entirely of Beatles songs, plus Taymor’s trademark flights of fancy — manifested in “a combination of live action and painted and three-dimensional animation" — and it promises to be trippy indeed.

I’m guessing people will call it the new Hair, not that there was anything insufficient about the old Hair. But I should stop trying to describe it and let you watch the trailer:


Did you catch that glimpse of Salma Hayek as a nurse? Visual delights galore!

In March, there was a target="_blank">kerfuffle over an unauthorized (at least in Taymor’s eyes) shorter version of the film. But Taymor’s name is still attached to the project, so it looks like director and executives have reconciled. Across the Universe premieres Sept. 14 (limited release) and opens wide Sept. 21.

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