A24 has unveiled the first trailer for its romantic drama Past Lives, starring Greta Lee (Russian Doll), Teo Yoo (Decision to Leave) and John Magaro (The Many Saints of Newark), which recently world premiered to rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival and is expected to be released this year.
The first feature written and directed by playwright Celina Song tells the story of Nora (Lee) and Hae Sung (Yoo), two deeply connected childhood friends, who are wrest apart after Nora’s family emigrates from South Korea. Two decades later, a married Nora is reunited with Hae Sung in New York for one fateful week as they confront notions of destiny, love, and the choices that make a life.
Song explained in an appearance last month at Deadline’s Sundance Studio that Past Lives was very much inspired by events in her own life, as someone who “exists in,” “is able to understand,” and “is loved” in two worlds that are a world apart from one another. “I actually found myself sitting in between my childhood sweetheart from Korea, who only speaks Korean, and my husband, who only speaks English,” she shared. “I found myself sitting there as a bilingual and bicultural person, being able to speak to and connect with both men, and I could also feel myself be somebody who is also lovable by both men. And to me, that really was the beginning of the whole film.”
Lee told us that when she first read Song’s script, she was drawn to how “merciless” it was in its “restraint, in its effort to be a romantic and frankly devastating love story.”
The unusual way in which the film examined a love triangle, the actress continued, is “what made it feel so modern. I think we were all really excited by the possibility of telling a story like that, in this way, on a big screen. And the way that Celine so magically incorporated so many different themes that are hard to pin down, I don’t think I’ve really read anything like it, ever.”
Past Lives was produced by David Hinojosa, Christine Vachon and Pamela Koffler. Watch the film’s trailer by clicking above.
Must Read Stories
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.