Sometimes, usually after a couple Marvel movies (and a glass of wine or two), I find myself wondering what kind of superhero I’d be. Spider-man’s my favourite — but I hate spiders, so that’s out. Invisibility might be useful, but only if you could choose when and where. Telepathy, a la Professor X of the X-Men, seems like it’d be overwhelming. I love gossip, but there are limits. And then there’s the larger moral considerations. Would I use my powers for universal good? Or for personal gain? Would I even be the hero? Or would I choose the villain route? (They usually have better clothes, not to mention dialogue.)
It seems like Netflix has been spending some time inside Cerebro because Project Power is basically the movie version of those late-night thoughts. Directed by Henry Joost and Ari Schulman, the streaming service’s latest summer blockbuster asks: What if there was a pill you could take that would unlock a superpower within you for five minutes? Seems like an obvious yes, right? Except there’s a catch: You don’t know what superpower you’ll get. Oh, and it might kill you in the process.
When the drug starts to proliferate across New Orleans, crime explodes, leading a former soldier (Jamie Foxx) with personal stake in the fight to work with a drug dealer (Dominique Fishback, who deserves to be in the spotlight after her phenomenal turn in The Deuce and Night Comes On) in order to control the spread and find the source. (For a taste of their adorable IRL friendship, just listen to him gush about her in this Entertainment Weekly video about the making of the film.) Joining their ersatz team is a local cop (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), and given the current debate over portrayals of law enforcement in TV and film, it’ll be interesting to see where they take that character.
The trailer, released on July 15, looks as intense as you’d expect from a movie where regular individuals can suddenly turn into fire demons and or/ something resembling The Hulk at a moment’s notice. But underscoring the action is a timely theme: Who wields power? And more importantly, who should, and at what cost?
But according to EW, things behind the scenes were a lot more mellow. Foxx, famous for setting the mood as the unofficial on-set DJ, reportedly made a playlist, and introduced Fishback to Foreigner’s “Hot Blooded.” Is that a hint as to her superpower? We’ll find out on August 14 when the movie hits Netflix.
Watch the full trailer below: