“Spiderhead” Trailer Reveals Chris Hemsworth in Adaptation of a Gloriously Insane George Saunders Story

There are so many reasons to be excited about Spiderhead. Let’s start with the fact that the film is an adaption of a George Saunders’ short story, “Escape From Spiderhead,” from his must-read collection “Tenth of December.” Then let’s add the fact it was directed by Top Gun: Maverick helmer Joseph Kosinski, from a script by the Deadpool screenwriting duo of Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. Excited yet? Oh yeah, add Chris Hemsworth, Miles Teller, and Jurnee Smollett and you’ve got yourself one of the most intriguing movies of the summer. With the first official trailer here, we’ve got a good look at how all these folks took one of Saunders’ most vividly imagined tales and turned it into a feature film.

Hemsworth plays Steve Abnesti, a brilliant (if morally challenged) man who runs a high-tech penitentiary called Spiderhead where prisoners undergo a unique regimen in order to have their sentences reduced. All they have to do is wear a device that administers mind-altering drugs that helps them—in theory—become better people. In this facility, you won’t find cells or prison yards or handcuffs, but what you will find are prisoners being pumped full of experimental drugs whose side effects can be, well, catastrophic. When two of those prisoners, Jeff (Miles Teller) and Lizzy (Jurnee Smollett) find solace in one another, Hemsworth’s visionary Steve Abnesti will only ratchet up his experiments until something, or many someones, have to give.

George Saunders is truly one of the most singular writers of his generation, and it’ll be thrilling to see one of his stories adapted by such a talented team. Check out the trailer below. Spiderhead crawls onto Netflix on June 17.

Here’s the official synopsis:

In a state-of-the-art penitentiary run by brilliant visionary Steve Abnesti (Chris Hemsworth), inmates wear a surgically attached device that administers dosages of mind-altering drugs in exchange for commuted sentences. There are no bars, no cells, or orange jumpsuits. In Spiderhead, incarcerated volunteers are free to be themselves. Until they’re not. At times, they’re a better version. Need to lighten up? There’s a drug for that. At a loss for words? There’s a drug for that, too. But when two subjects, Jeff (Miles Teller) and Lizzy (Jurnee Smollett), form a connection, their path to redemption take a twistier turn, as Abnesti’s experiments start to push the limits of free will altogether. Based on The New Yorker short story by George Saunders, SPIDERHEAD is a genre-bending and darkly funny psychological thriller directed by Joseph Kosinski (TRON: Legacy, Top Gun: Maverick) and written by Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick (Deadpool, Zombieland).

For more on big titles on Netflix, check these out:

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Featured image: SPIDERHEAD. (L to R) Chris Hemsworth as Abnesti, Miles Teller as Jeff and Mark Paguio as Verlaine in Spiderhead. Netflix © 2022


The Credits

The Credits is an online magazine that tells the story behind the story to celebrate our large and diverse creative community. Focusing on profiles of below-the-line filmmakers, The Credits celebrates the often uncelebrated individuals who are indispensable to the films and TV shows we love.