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Three Thousand Years of Longing’s first trailer is a kaleidoscope of cautionary tales

Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton lead George Miller’s latest cinematic fever dream

In George Miller’s upcoming Three Thousand Years of Longing, the key to getting the most out of magical wishes without suffering repercussions isn’t being clever or trying to outsmart the ancient djinn that’s been trapped in a bottle for countless lifetimes. It’s stalling.

Three Thousand Years of Longing — an epic fantasy based on novelist A.S. Byatt’s short story “The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye” — tells the story of Dr. Alithea Binnie (Tilda Swinton), a solitary mythography scholar who’s almost entirely thrown herself into her work. The movie’s new trailer finds Alithea on her way to Istanbul both for a conference and a bit of shopping at a bazaar where she just so happens to purchase the bottle containing a djinn (Idris Elba). Being the expert of myths and legends that she is, Alithea knows that taking the djinn up on his offer of three wishes is a surefire way to inadvertently end up ruining her life, and so she instead implores the djinn to tell her about the people he’s granted wishes for in the past.

Questionable as some of Three Thousand Years of Longing’s optics are, the trailer’s fantastical visuals are both striking and sumptuous, both of which are promising signs for the film’s ability to make the most of its fairytale conceit.

Three Thousand Years of Longing hits theaters on August 31st, 2022.