If you haven’t heard of Brigsby Bear before, don’t worry. The movie premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, but didn’t receive too much press. It’s set to be released at the end of July, but there haven’t been any trailers or clips until just this week.
Brigsby Bear is akin to Jim Carrey’s 1998 film, Truman Show, which followed an insurance agent as he slowly discovers that his life is just a television show, but with a slightly altered premise. In Brigsby Bear, James Pope (Saturday Night Live’s Kyle Mooney), a man that has been raised in an underground bunker his entire life, is distraught when his favorite children’s TV show, Brigsby Bear Adventures, is cancelled. Upon learning that the show was solely being made for him, he decides to venture out and finish the story his favorite characters have been telling for years.
Sony Pictures released the first clip for the film and, besides the vulnerable comedy that comes along with the absurd premise, it shone a light on Ted Hope; the mysterious man who James believes is his father. Hope also helps James come to terms with his new, Brigsby Bear Adventures devoid reality. He also just so happens to be played by Star Wars’ Mark Hamill.
In the clip, Hamill and Mooney are sitting in a glass encasement and talking about the power of imagination while watching puppet versions of fireflies buzz around outside. The scene is just over a minute long in the clip, but is full of philosophical self-advice about how to cope with a great loss.
Following the film’s premiere at Sundance, a review from The Hollywood Reporter applauded the premise of Brigsby Bear for its insightful examination of a young generation’s obsession with pop-culture and the profound feeling of loss that occurs when that piece of entertainment is taken away.
“The film understands what it feels like to have an attachment to a certain piece of pop culture that is deeper, perhaps disturbingly so, than anyone around you,” the review reads. “The impulse that leads a better-adjusted person to make parodies is a sibling to the one that inspires fan films; in his guileless way, James has leapfrogged many social conventions to live his dream.”
Brigsby Bear will be released on July 28.