The first movie trailer for “Amsterdam” has arrived, heralding David O. Russell’s controversial return to the director’s chair after a seven-year absence.
Starring Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, and John David Washington, the crime caper centers on a murder mystery. Set in the 1930s, the film follows a trio of friends as they evade authorities after being suspected of murder, according to Variety.
“You got a dead white man in a box,” warns Chris Rock’s character in the first scene of the trailer. “Not even a casket. It doesn’t even have a top on it. In a pine box of old wood. Who do you think’s gonna get in trouble here?”
The film, “weaves historical fact with fiction” as the trio “find themselves at the center of one of the most shocking secret plots in American history,” according to the press release for the movie.
While the dead man and his true killers remain mysterious, the leading protagonists appear genuinely innocent of the charges. In addition to Bale, Washington, and Robbie, who portray two veterans and a nurse, the ensemble includes Taylor Swift, Mike Myers, Michael Shannon and Robert De Niro.
“We formed a pact and we swore to protect each other ... no matter what,” Bale’s character reveals in the trailer.
The whodunit appears to be filled with humor, intrigue and acerbic wit.
“This is becoming a lot larger than any of us,” Robbie’s character admits in the trailer. “I had to stab a guy. I had to hit a lady with a brick one time.”
This is Russell’s first film since 2015’s “Joy,” which chronicled the entrepreneurial efforts of American inventor Joy Mangano, and reunites the five-time Oscar winner with previous collaborators Bale and De Niro.
The publicity for the new film has sparked reminders of the director’s record of heinous behavior on and off his sets, causing some to question why so many big stars chose to work on the project. In 2012, Russell’s niece said the director sexually assaulted her — an accusation he didn’t dispute. He’s also been accused of berating cast and crew members.
“Amsterdam” is set to hit theaters on Nov. 4.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.