Film

Zendaya Already Has Oscar Buzz For ‘Malcolm & Marie’ But We’ve Only Seen The Trailer

Here's everything we know about the dramatic quarantine romance film.

zendaya-malcolm-and-marie

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Malcolm & Marie is written and directed by Euphoria show runner, Sam Levinson, who has once again teamed up with Zendaya, this time to bring you a story about one night and a couple on the razor’s edge.

Claustrophobic in its use of black and white and the single location, the dramatic trailer teases a film with intensive unforgettable performances. The film’s synopsis unfolds thusly: a filmmaker, Malcolm, and his girlfriend, Marie, discuss their past relationships while returning home from a movie premiere.

Malcolm is played by none other than Tenet‘s John David Washington. Together, he and Zendaya are set to create an aching romantic drama set over the course of a single evening as the couple awaits for the critical reception of Malcolm’s film.

Writer and director, Sam Levinson also reunited with Euphoria‘s award-winning cinematographer, Marcell Rév for the project. Zendaya and Levinson conceived of Malcolm & Marie after season 2 of Euphoria wrapped, and the pair wanted to propose a project that could be safely made in quarantine.

In a recent interview for GQ, Zendaya revealed one of Levinson’s early ideas was, “a twisty meta-Disney thriller,” in which Zendaya would play a version of herself who still believed she was her Disney Channel character in KC Undercover. However, the pair settled on Malcolm & Marie, and Levinson supposedly wrote the intense screenplay over eight days.

Malcolm & Marie already has Oscar buzz, especially for Zendaya’s magnetic performance in the best actress category — but she’s also a producer on the film. If Zendaya is nominated for best picture (as a producer), she would be the third Black woman to be nominated in the category as producer following in the footsteps Oprah Winfrey (Selma) and Kimberly Steward (Manchester by the Sea). She’d also be the most nominated Black woman in a single year, tying Mary J. Blige. Zendaya received multiple nominations and wins in 2020 for her role as Rue in Euphoria.

As a huge fan of Washington and Zendaya, I am beyond excited to see them work together. But I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t agree on the age-gap controversy surrounding the film. There’s a 12-year difference between Zendaya and Washington, and its a little uncomfortable in how stark it is, even in the trailer.

Despite the film’s small controversies, it will be nothing short of exciting to see yet another powerhouse performance from Zendaya and John David Washington so soon after Euphoria and Tenet. Movies that unfold as a conversation between two people may not be everyone’s cup of tea, of course. But if the outstanding reviews for Euphoria’s recent one-on-one conversation episode written by Levinson and starring Zendaya, is anything to go by– we’re in for a story that could stay with viewers forever.

Malcolm & Marie premieres on Netflix, February 5th, 2021.


Merryana Salem is a proud Wonnarua and Lebanese–Australian writer, critic, teacher, researcher and podcaster on most social media as @akajustmerry. If you want, check out her podcast, GayV Club where she gushes about LGBT rep in media with her best friend. Either way, she hopes you ate something nice today.