‘Chevalier’: Release Date, Cast, Trailer, and Everything We Know So Far
There are many stories in history that consistently make people ask, “How come this person’s story hasn’t been made into a movie yet?” The term “life imitates art” is particularly true with these biopics, illustrating the tales of some of history’s most remarkable individuals, and none are more popular than ones about legendary musical talents. Just last year, we finally got a proper chronicling of the King of Rock Roll thanks to director Baz Luhrmann with Elvis (2022) and got a self-satire of musical biopics with the ingeniously on-the-nose Weird: The Al Yankovic Story (2022). There are certainly plenty more historical figures set to get the feature film treatment from now until the end of time but come this April, we’ll be getting a musician biopic that will take audiences all the way back to the seventeenth century.
That movie is Chevalier (2023), which will tell the story of Creole violist Joseph Bologne, played by Kelvin Harrison Jr. (Luce), and how he defied racial norms to become the renowned musical genius known as Chevalier de Saint-Georges. The film showcasing the remarkable true tale premiered last year at the Toronto International Film Festival to a pretty positive critical response, but those eager to see the film for a wider release will have to wait a little bit longer. How long exactly? Read below to find out.
Watch the Trailer for Chevalier
The debut trailer provides a brief summary of Bologne’s life, starting from when he is apprehensively accepted into a French boarding school, where the headmaster is concerned accepting a child who looked like him would raise complications until he showed off his skills as a violinist prodigy. The trailer then shows an adult Bologne showcasing his skills as a Renaissance Man far ahead of his time. Not only is he still stunning the people of France with his skills with the composer, shown through an exciting violin duel with a cocky challenger, but we also see he’s a skilled duelist and fencer as well as a staunch supporter of the French Revolution. We also get a look at some of the historic figures that Bologne meets in the film, such as the Queen of France herself, Marie Antoinette (Lucy Boynton).
Is Chevalier Releasing in Theaters or on Streaming?
Chevalier will be premiering exclusively in theaters when it comes time for the maestro to serenade audiences later this year. No word yet on if and when the film will be getting a streaming release, but given that it’s a production from 20th Century’s Searchlight Pictures, Hulu would be the most likely contender for a streaming home. Disney+ is also a potential option for an online release given the Walt Disney Company’s ownership of 20th Century and its assets.
What Is the Release Date for Chevalier?
Chevalier was initially set to release on Friday, April 7th, 2023. However, the film was ultimately pushed back several weeks to Friday, April 21, 2023.
What Is the Plot of Chevalier?
The official synopsis for Chevalier was posted in the description of the above trailer and reads as follows:
Inspired by the incredible true story of composer Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges. The illegitimate son of an African slave and a French plantation owner, Bologne (Kelvin Harrison Jr. in a tour de force performance) rises to improbable heights in French society as a celebrated violinist-composer and fencer, complete with an ill-fated love affair and a falling out with Marie Antoinette (Lucy Boynton) and her court.
Chevalier will chronicle the entire life of Joseph Bologne, starting from his early life as a mixed-race child prodigy all the way to his professional career as an artist and activist. Obviously, we won’t know how faithful the adaptation will be to Bologne’s actual life until it releases, but without there’s a ton of material to work with, and a compelling story practically writes itself here. Without giving too much away for those who aren’t as familiar with his story, Joseph Bologne was far more than a simple musician. He was a prolific composer whose skill in his field is perhaps even comparable to that of the greatest musical minds of his era, and his early work to preserve and fight for civil rights and liberties for non-white individuals is centuries ahead of its time.
How Has Chevalier Been Received by Critics so Far?
As of this writing, less than twenty critics have put in their two cents on the film following its premiere at TIFF, but it’s still a promising start that’s yielded some generally favorable reviews. ScreenRant’s own Mae Abdulbaki described the film as “magnetic”, saying that Chevalier is “a historical fiction that elevates itself beyond the conventional biopic to deliver a memorable drama about its subject’s life”. Indiewire’s Kate Erbland was a bit more critical of the film’s occasional reliance on biopic tropes, but praises the originality of certain sequences like the aforementioned violin duel and says that the movie is at its best when it isn’t “beholden to the usual narrative beats and expectations”.
Who Is Making Chevalier?
Conducting the crew from the director’s chair is Stephen Williams, who has recently become best known as a director for his television work on Watchmen (2019) and Westworld (2016-2018). Penning the screenplay is Stefani Robinson, who makes her feature screenwriting debut after writing for Fargo (2020) and What We Do in the Shadows (2019-2022). Robinson will also be a part of the project as a producer.
Filling out the rest of the crew is Kris Bowers (Green Book) as composer, Jess Hall (Hot Fuzz) as cinematographer, John Axelrad (Ad Astra) as editor, Karen Murphy (A Star is Born) as production designer, and Oliver Garcia (Cinderella) as costume designer.
Who Is Starring in Chevalier?
Starring in the titular role is Kelvin Harrison Jr., whose been quite busy recently with prominent roles in The Trial of the Chicago Seven (2020), Cyrano (2021), and last year’s Elvis. Joining the rest of the cast are Samara Weaving (Ready or Not), Lucy Boynton (Bohemian Rhapsody), Marton Csokas (The Equalizer), Alex Fitzalan (Slender Man), and Minnie Driver (Good Will Hunting).