Peter Dinklage and a few musical numbers liven up a classic in the Cyrano trailer

The latest film from Joe Wright brings his signature theatricality to Rostand’s timeless romance.


Charles Bramesco


Though it only dates back to 1897, the story of Cyrano de Bergerac already feels like a tale as old as time. Adapted in every setting from feudal Japan to present-day high school, Edmond Rostand’s play sees the less-than-ladykiller Cyrano helping the dashing Christian, his rival for the affections of fair Roxanne, win her hand despite his own interest.

As the public can see in the first trailer uploaded just this morning, Joe Wright’s new big-screen mounting of the old text stays faithful to its seventeenth-century setting, while making a handful of key changes. For one, putting Peter Dinklage in the lead role alters the details of plot, if not its mechanics; where Cyrano’s oversized schnoz originally made him an undesirable quantity insecure about his pursuit of Roxanne (Haley Bennett), this time around, Dinklage’s actual achondroplasia convinces him that he can never be with the apple of his eye and that she’d be better off with Christian (Kelvin Harrison Jr).

But the most noticeable liberty taken has to be the musical numbers, in keeping with the same genre mashup Wright previously explored with the widely-panned Pan. Rather than adapting the play directly, the film works from a 2018 musical penned by Erica Schmidt, who has a screenplay credit on Wright’s latest project and also happens to be Dinklage’s wife. (The music and lyrics for Schmidt’s stage show were written by the members of the National, who lend their talents again here.)

The film premiered earlier this year at Telluride, where notices were on the more positive side of mixed, praising Dinklage’s leading performance while acknowledging the awkward friction of grafting show tunes onto Rostand’s narrative. Indiewire’s review paid special attention to the unique circumstances of the film’s production, shot in the thick of the pandemic on a closed set in Sicily.

For Wright, this represents a return to his wheelhouse, much closer to the gussied-up theatrics of his Anna Karenina than the underdone psychothriller suspense of his more recent The Woman in the Window. With this particular talent, more is always more, and it looks like his Cyrano will do it all – sing, dance, and pine.

Cyrano comes to cinemas in the US on 25 December, and then the UK on 14 January.

Published 6 Oct 2021

Tags: Ben Mendelsohn Cyrano Haley Bennett Joe Wright Kelvin Harrison Jr Peter Dinklage

Suggested For You

Hey Hollywood, let’s make more musicals!

By Jordan Brooks

Given La La Land’s runaway success, isn’t it time for a proper revival of this beloved genre?

Nothing about us without us – the reality of being a disabled actor

By Little White Lies

With disabled performers being pushed further into the background, three actors speak frankly about what’s really going on.

How movies reveal the intimate details of romance

By Little White Lies

A new short documentary taps into cinema’s potential for presenting love in all its complex forms.

Little White Lies Logo

About Little White Lies

Little White Lies was established in 2005 as a bi-monthly print magazine committed to championing great movies and the talented people who make them. Combining cutting-edge design, illustration and journalism, we’ve been described as being “at the vanguard of the independent publishing movement.” Our reviews feature a unique tripartite ranking system that captures the different aspects of the movie-going experience. We believe in Truth & Movies.