The School for Good and Evil Finally Has a Real Trailer!

As soon as I heard that The School for Good and Evil was coming to Netflix and was based on a popular princess book series to Soman Chainani, I went ahead and read the first book. I had mixed feelings about the visually stunning setting combined with outdated stereotypes about princess characters being selfish and vain. The initial teaser for the film revealed very little about how it might look or how closely it would follow the book. Today, a new trailer was released that shows significantly more footage from the movie does seem to follow the book, right down the lavish visuals that provide a sensory overload of beautiful fairy tale imagery.

While the initial teaser and casting announcement focused on the two headmistresses who barely even made an impression in the book, the trailer shines the spotlight where it belongs on Sophie and Agatha, the two protagonists. Like the teaser, the trailer pushes the fairy tale angle with the claim that Snow White, Cinderella, and Jack who climbed the beanstalk all attended this school. I still have the same issue with this now as I did when I read the book, which is that going to a school that supported and fostered their talents changes these characters' backstories about being sheltered underdogs who were mistreated or abused and had very few people on their side. This should make the outcome of their fairy tales themselves different from the versions we know. This is something I already brought up in my book review, so I will try to focus the rest of this post on the new content from the film.

This trailer features one of the most visually stunning moments of the book in which Agatha rescues the wishing fish from the pond and looks on in shock as it transforms into a humanoid girl. The visual effects that Netflix uses to portray this are just as bizarre and striking as the description was in the book. The trailer features even more extravagant wardrobes for the students at both schools. The book described the girls at The School for Good as wearing pink frilly uniforms that seemed to have a cohesive look to them while students at The School for Evil wore black Hogwarts-like robes. This trailer features the students at The School for Good donning a sumptuous feast of fairy-tale inspired ballgowns with embroidered accents and decals in different colors that give each costume a luxurious and and individualistic quality that evokes the feeling of attending a royal ball. Meanwhile, Sophie is shown at The School for Evil in a gothic black strapless dress that is more evocative of her exorbitant sense of fashion than the robes she refused to wear at the beginning of the book.

It looks like the story in the film will follow the first book pretty closely with Sophie dreaming of being a princess at The School for Good and getting forced into The School for Evil while Agatha is determined to rescue her from the entire debacle. It's unclear whether the film will keep some of the more offensive aspects of the book, such as the other girls in The School for Good being just as vain and selfish as Sophie. I hope the script will at least try to tone this down since it completely contradicts the aspect of the story where Sophie needs to accept she doesn't belong with them when in actuality, she is no different than they are. The trailer doesn't spend a lot of time teasing Agatha's reluctant relationship with Tedros, but the promo images that were released yesterday include one of her dancing with him at a royal ball. At this point, there is little reason to believe that anything in the Netflix movie will be different from the story in the book, but one can still hope.

Though I'm not a huge fan of this story, the visuals in the Netflix trailer for The School for Good and Evil are everything I could have possibly dreamed of and more. The filmmakers went above and beyond when it came to bringing this bizarrely disturbing fairy tale world to life. I love the detail and variety in all of the stunning costumes as well as the dark and unnerving visuals that perfectly recreate the tone of the book. The film's release has been pushed up by two days from October 21st to October 19th, so we will be able to watch it on Netflix a bit earlier than anticipated. My only hope for this film is that the screenwriters tried to smooth out some of the contradictory messages from the novel, but even if they didn't, it looks like it will be a gorgeous sight to behold.


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