What: A new trailer for the hard-to-describe Chinese film Animal World.
Who: Filmmaker Han Yan, star Li Yifeng, and somehow, Michael Douglas.
Why we care: Clowns are having a moment right now. First, they were mysteriously popping up in the schools and forests of South Carolina, spreading terror-filled awareness, and then It–a veritable clown extravaganza–became the highest-grossing horror movie ever. But clown as horror subject is old hat by now. The forthcoming Chinese film Animal World promises to present clowns in a whole new light: that of urban-dwelling, ass-kicking martial arts experts. (And also Michael Douglas. He’s there too.)
Although no synopsis appears to be available and the just-released trailer is a Scrabble letter bag of incomprehensibility, Animal World appears to be about gangs of underground gangs battling reptilian creatures in subways. One of those fighters transforms into a clown to do his exterminating. The amazing thing is how straight this trailer plays the utterly bonkers premise (which is adapted from the Japanese manga Ultimate Survivor Kaiji). High production values and stylized GCI lend it a Matrix-y vibe—or vibe reminiscent of any number of similarly kinetic action movies . . . only with a clown. An aerodynamic, monster-obliterating, sword-wielding clown. Picture me and 17 friends emerging from a comically small car at the same time to buy tickets.