Janelle Monáe is traveling to the darkest corners of American history in the mysterious trailer for her upcoming thriller Antebellum.
The new horror film — from a group of producers that previously worked on Jordan Peele's Get Out and Us — was surprise-announced in November 2019, after a mysterious teaser surfaced online featuring Monáe being abducted and seemingly transported to an alternate reality as an enslaved woman. Since then, details regarding the film's plot have been kept under wraps, outside of a simple logline that indicated the singer-songwriter starred as a successful writer, Veronica Henley, who finds herself trapped in a nightmarish retread of the country's original sin.
Antebellum's new trailer (above) further teases the character's journey, as Henley is apparently whisked away into a slavery-era cotton field by a mysterious force that targets her during a night out with friends (including Precious star Gabourey Sidibe), and she's tasked with fighting for to free herself from the hellscape.
"I know that it’s about to open up another dimension in my life as an artist and as an actor, and this is definitely one of my most layered and toughest roles to date," Monáe recently told HuffPost of the role, which she hopes will leave audiences “understanding why 'black women' and 'superhero' should be one word."
“If people can walk away with a deeper appreciation for black women, with a deeper respect for black women, with a deeper admiration for black women, then my job is done," the 34-year-old continued of the film, which also stars Eric Lange, Jena Malone, Jack Huston, Kiersey Clemons, and Tongayi Chirisa. "I think that this film will help you see the human experience in a totally different way, no matter what you look like, where you come from."
Antebellum — written and directed by Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz — hits theaters April. Watch the new trailer above.