It's been a long wait, but the first trailer for Public Enemies has finally been released.
Directed by Michael Mann and starring Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard, and many, many others, this film based upon the exploits of Depression-era gangster John Dillinger was at the center of public attention around Wisconsin last winter and spring, when numerous scenes were shot in locations around the state, including Madison, Columbus, Darlington, Beaver Dam, Oshkosh, Milwaukee, and Manitowish Waters.
Frenzied scenes of fans hoping for a glimpse of Depp ensued at many of these locations. Many movie fans from Madison and around the state were lucky enough to be cast as extras in these shoots and got an even closer look the Hollywood production. The film also generated massive interest in the Wisconsin tax incentives program for the entertainment industry, which was followed by controversy when questions about its ultimate economic impact were raised by state officials. Eventually, though, the shoot moved on to Chicago and California later last spring, and subsequently went into post-production come summer.
Mann, a University of Wisconsin graduate and acclaimed director who specializes in crime thrillers, subsequently got to work on pulling everything together in time for its planned release as a summer tent-pole blockbuster. Rough cuts of the film have since been screened in various locations on the West Coast over the last couple of months, and the film has earned mixed reviews from fans and non-fans of the director alike. This hasn't dampened interest in the trailer, though.
Over the last couple of weeks, the promotion engine at Universal Pictures has started releasing more clips and images from the film. A brief snippet was featured in the post-Academy Awards credits sequence that highlighted many of the big studio films coming out this spring and summer. About a minute of footage was featured in an Entertainment Tonight segment on Tuesday, meanwhile, only hours after the film's first one-sheet poster was released.
Anticipated over everything else, though, was the first complete trailer for the film. It's release has been rumored and discussed for months, with concrete details about its release only coming to light in the last few days. It was finally released by Universal shortly after noon today.
Clocking in at almost two-and-a-half minutes, the trailer features clips from several scenes that were shot in Wisconsin, including: Columbus as Greencastle, Indiana; Oshkosh as Racine; and the Little Bohemia Lodge and its surrounding Northwoods environs reprising their role as the historical location of an epic gunfight between the Dillinger gang and pursuing federal agents.
Madison also appears briefly in a pair of clips from the trailer. One shows Bale as federal agent Melvin Purvis speaking with Billy Crudup as J. Edgar Hoover inside a Capitol hallway, while another finds them speaking to reporters on the Capitol steps facing East Washington Avenue, with the YWCA building and American Exchange Bank building visible in the background. In both cases, the scenes depict the birth of the FBI in Washington, D.C.
This trailer will also be shown on Entertainment Tonight on Wednesday, and will be subsequently be attached as a preview for films screening this weekend, the most notable release being Watchmen, another highly anticipated movie this year. Public Enemies is scheduled for wide release on July 1, 2009