The 2020s have barely begun, and it’s already becoming something of a career renaissance for the musical duo of Sparks. Brothers Ron and Russel Mael formed the eccentric pop band back in 1967 and have consistently been releasing albums and touring ever since. While popularity has mostly eluded them in the United States, Europe embraced them enough to where they not only have an Edgar Wright documentary about them being released in 2021, they also have their own musical film debuting with Adam Driver belting it out!
“Annette,” written by the Mael brothers and directed by Leos Carax was supposed to open the 2020 Cannes Film Festival, a plan derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately it’ll get the chance this year on July 6th, 2021. Along with being the first film written by Sparks, it’s also the first English language film by Carax. It is NOT however, the first time Adam Driver has graced us with his singing voice on the silver screen, as anyone who’s watched “Marriage Story” can attest to.
In “Annette” Driver plays a stand-up comedian who is apparently very fond of motorcycles. He meets and falls in love with an opera singer, played by Marion Cotillard, and they end up having a bay together, the titular Annette. The plot details are incredibly vague beyond that, as all that other outlets have been able to gather is that we’re told Annette is a child with a very special gift and a special destiny. Having watched the trailer ourselves, we also can attest to the fact that this movie is enigmatic as all hell. Considering its written by Sparks though, there is little to no doubt that it’s going to be some degree of intriguingly bizarre.
As mentioned before, this is one of two film projects that feature Ron and Russell Mael, the other being a documentary about the long and storied career of the band. We covered the acquisition of the Edgar Wright directed film back in February of this year, with the film now slated to release on June 18th. With “Annette” to follow less than a month later, this is quite literally the biggest that Sparks has eve been, possibly in the entire history of their career.
In the build-up to release, the Sony SoundtracksVEVO channel has uploaded a video lyric for the debut “single” of sorts from the soundtrack. Entitled, “So May We Start,” the track is very typical Sparks fare, quirkily asking if a production of some sort, may indeed commence. It’s a bit fourth-wall breaking in that sense, self-aware of the fact that the song is in itself, part of a performance. Russell Mael’s distinctive vocals help start the song which then transition into something more inline with a showtune. Adam Driver’s voice enters in coupled with a number of backing vocalists, giving the whole piece a kind of flamboyant flare. You can listen to the piece below.
A release date for “Annette” beyond Cannes has not yet been announced, but Deadline confirmed back when the project began in 2017 that Amazon Studios had picked up the rights for North American distribution. When an official release has been announced, we’ll be sure to update you.