Alicia Vikander Is a Movie Star in Chaos in the Irma Vep Trailer

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Alicia Vikander looking up in the Irma Vep trailer
Courtesy of YouTube

Alicia Vikander has big shoes to fill as the star of Irma Vep. The 1996 Olivier Assayas film—which the French director is remaking as a TV show for HBO Max—starred the Hong Kong legend Maggie Cheung in all her glory. But from the look of the new full-length trailer for Assayas’s remake about a remake of Louis Feuillade’s classic silent film Les Vampires—if you couldn’t tell by now, it’s all very meta—Vikander just might be up to the job.

“I’m so sick of being the superhero,” Vikander’s character Mira tells her assistant (Devon Ross), who reminds her that blockbusters allow an actor to make the movies they actually love. And Mira is convinced she’s going to love making Les Vampires; she’s “dying” to play Irma Vep, whose name is an anagram for vampire. The trouble is, the director behind it—René Vidal, played by Jean-Pierre Léaud—is a full-on nightmare. Mira tries not to let him get to her, but there’s only so much she can do. “René’s process can be confusing,” she at one point admits to her ex-boyfriend (played by Tom Sturridge), clearly attempting to remain diplomatic. What she really means is that René has a taste for violence. At one point, he urges Mira to stomp on the face of a man with her heels because his character is dead, so “he doesn’t feel nothing.”

Eventually, Mira realizes that her agent (played by Carrie Brownstein) was right: She shouldn’t have taken the role. And since there’s no way the film is going to live up to anything she’d hoped, it’s time to move on with her career. “I’m young. I’m a movie star,” she says. “What matters is staying sane.” Her life may be in shambles—she’s also trying to patch things up with the ex after cheating on him with Laurie (Adria Arjona)—but hey, at least she looks great in Louis Vuitton. Vikander is one of the house’s most devoted brand ambassadors, and in a testament to her relationship with its creative director, Nicolas Ghesquière, the designer took charge of the film’s costuming.

Like the 1996 Irma Vep, the series will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival later this month. Ahead of its June 6 wide release on HBO Max, watch the trailer below.

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