Director Jennifer Yuh Nelson, who became the first woman to solely direct an animated feature from a major Hollywood studio with her work on Kung Fu Panda 2, helms a tale about teens who find themselves "changed" after an apocalyptic event wiped out many of their peers.
Based on the book series by Alexandra Bracken, the story revolves around Amandla Stenberg's Ruby, a 16-year-old who escapes a government camp to join up with rogue teens on the run from the people who want to keep these powerful kids contained. Along their journey, these young adults realize that there is strength in numbers, and that their power not only comes from the supernatural abilities they have gained, but from their connection with one another.
If Nelson's film reminds anyone of the teens of today, it should. The school shooting survivors of Parkland, Florida, started a movement affecting real change in gun laws despite vile victim-blaming, social media smear campaigns, and blatant taunting from the NRA. The kids are more than alright — they're changing the world, and they don't even need powers to do it.
The Darkest Minds might be one of the most relevant blockbusters of the year. The fact that this is one of so few studio films directed by a woman this year is fitting: We need new perspectives in the film industry in order to expand the stories that our society tells.
Check out the new trailer below:
The film hits theaters August 3.