‘The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial’ Trailer: William Friedkin’s Swan Song Is a Military Courtroom Drama

William Friedkin’s final feature “The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial” is debuting on Showtime.

Friedkin, who died in August 2023 at age 87, wrote and directed the adaptation of Herman Wouk’s 1953 play, itself adapted from his own Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. The film version, which takes place entirely inside a courtroom, follows a U.S. naval first officer (Jake Lacy) standing trial for orchestrating a mutiny after his captain (Kiefer Sutherland). The captain showed signs of becoming unstable and, the first office alleges, jeopardized the lives of his crew. Jason Clarke portrays skeptical naval lawyer Barney Greenwald who agrees to defend Lacy’s character, Lt. Steve Maryk.

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As the trial progresses, Greenwald becomes increasingly concerned and questions if the events aboard the Caine were deemed a true mutiny or simply the courageous acts of a group of sailors who did not trust their unstable leader.

Monica Raymund, Lewis Pullman, Jay Duplass, Tom Riley, and late actor Lance Reddick also star.

“The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial” premiered at the 80th Venice Film Festival out of competition before launching on Showtime and Paramount+. The film is produced by Annabelle Dunne and Matt Parker; Michael Salven and Mike Upton executive produce, with the feature distributed by Paramount Global Content Distribution.

Guillermo del Toro served as an assistant director on the film, with producer Dunner explaining during the Venice Film Festival (via Deadline) that Friedkin contractually needed a back-up director due to his age in order for the film to be insured. “That’s very common, Hollywood is ageist; in Hollywood it’s sometimes hard to pass the insurance,” Dunne said.

According to Dunne, del Toro came to set every day. “Graciously [del Toro] said not only yes but despite just having put out ‘Pinocchio,’ he went to set every day to sit next to Billy,” Dunne said. “He said he was our mascot. It was a joy for all of us, including the actors, to have his presence there. He made it abundantly clear it was Billy’s movie.”

Del Toro has since taken to Twitter to voice his support for a theatrical release of Friedkin’s final film.

“I know it’s not the ‘model’ for a streamer but this is Friedkin’s final film. Can we get a theatrical run?” del Toro tweeted. “No matter if it is a limited one. Just respect for a master.”

“The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial” premieres October 6 for Paramount+ with Showtime subscribers, and will debut October 8 linearly on Showtime. Check out the trailer below.

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