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White Noise – What We Know So Far

This year's Venice Film Festival premiered a slew of highly anticipated upcoming films, including filmmaker Noah Baumbach's next feature, "White Noise" (via Variety). Distributed and produced by Netflix, "White Noise" is an apocalyptic black comedy based on the 1985 novel of the same name by Don DeLillo, with Baumbach adapting the story for the screen.

The list of Netflix original films is only continuing to grow. While their original programming includes plenty of more lighthearted fare, such as their many romantic comedies ("The Kissing Booth," "To All the Boys I've Loved Before"), for example, they have also put out a good number of award-season contenders in recent years. Just last year, Netflix released "The Lost Daughter," "Power of the Dog," "Tick, Tick ... Boom!" and "Don't Look Up" — all of which found themselves in the running for various Oscar categories. Considering Baumbach's accoladed past, as well as the fact that the source material is highly revered, it's very likely that "White Noise" may just join the list of critically acclaimed Netflix originals. 

For fans of Baumbach or DeLillo or cinephiles in general, here's what we know so far about "White Noise."

Who is directing White Noise?

"White Noise" is directed by Noah Baumbach, whose latest directorial endeavor was the highly acclaimed "Marriage Story," which came out in 2019. "Marriage Story" received a slew of Oscar nominations, including best picture and best director, and a win in the supporting actress category, for Laura Dern. The writer-director previously received an Oscar nomination for 2005's "The Squid and the Whale" in the best original screenplay category. Some of Baumbach's other major features include 1995's "Kicking and Screaming," 2012's "Frances Ha," 2015's "Mistress America" and 2017's "The Meyerowitz Stories."

Notably, "White Noise" marks Baumbach's first project since signing an exclusive deal with Netflix in January 2021, as reported by Deadline. When the deal was announced, Baumbach said in a statement, "When I started in the film industry I dreamed of having a home. It took me about 25 years, but it was worth the wait. I couldn't be more thrilled to be making movies with [Netflix co-CEO and Chief Content Officer] Ted [Sarandos] and [Global Head of Netflix Films] Scott [Stuber] and everyone at Netflix, who are wonderful collaborators and friends and family."

Two of Baumbach's previous films, "The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)" and "Marriage Story," were also produced and distributed by Netflix.

What is the plot of White Noise?

Per Passage Pictures (one of the production companies for the film), "White Noise" centers on Jack Gladney (Adam Driver), a professor of Hitler studies in Middle America, and his fourth wife Babbette (Greta Gerwig), both of whom have a crippling fear of death. The married couple, alongside their children, are forced to face that fear when an "airborne toxic event" begins sweeping their town.

If you're looking for a little more insight into the plot, another official logline from Awards Daily reads as such: "At once hilarious and horrifying, White Noise dramatizes a contemporary American family's attempt to deal with the mundane conflicts of day-to-day life while grappling with the larger philosophical issues of love, death, and the possibility of happiness in an uncertain world."

While the official logline certainly gives us a look into the themes that "White Noise" will explore, we'll just have to wait to see how the story plays out beat for beat.

Who's in the cast of White Noise?

As mentioned in the plot synopsis, Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig, both of whom have collaborated with Baumbach on previous projects, star in "White Noise." One of Driver's earliest film roles was a supporting part in "Frances Ha"; he then went on to star in "While We're Young," "The Meyerowitz Stories," and, of course, "Marriage Story." Meanwhile, Gerwig (who also just so happens to be Baumbach's real-life romantic partner) appeared in "Greenberg," before the two collaborated on "Frances Ha" (they co-wrote the script, Baumbach directed and Gerwig starred). The pair then repeated that same collaborative process for "Mistress America." Most recently, Gerwig and Baumbach co-wrote the upcoming "Barbie," which Gerwig directed (via IMDb).

"White Noise" also stars Don Cheadle and Jodie Turner-Smith. Cheadle most recently narrated the reboot of "The Wonder Years," and also appeared in "Space Jam: A New Legacy" and the TV series "Black Monday." Turner-Smith has recently appeared in "After Yang," as well as the miniseries "Anne Boleyn," in which she starred as the titular character.

The film's cast is rounded out by Raffey Cassidy, André Benjamin, Alessandro Nivola, and Lars Eidinger (via IMDb).

What is the release date of White Noise?

"White Noise" will premiere in select theaters on November 25 before being released on Netflix on December 30 (via Pitchfork). The film has actually already been seen by a select few, however, as it had its initial premiere on August 31 at the Venice Film Festival.

After the project was announced in January 2021, filming began later that year in June. To mark the moment, producer Uri Singer took to Twitter to announce the exciting news, writing, "WHITE NOISE, Filming #Day1 YAY!!!" The post was complete with a collection of photos of those involved, including Baumbach and three of the main cast members. Filming took place in several cities in Ohio, including Cleveland and near Salem, according to Salem News

While the release date may be a few months away, there is, fortunately, something to tide us over in the meantime ...

Is there a trailer for White Noise?

Netflix released a teaser trailer for "White Noise" in late August of 2022. The trailer opens with a shot of a long row of cars stuck in traffic during a rain storm, before cutting to a shot of Jack and Babbette — both of whom have a worried look on their face — sitting in their own car, with their kids in the back. While looking over at the car next to them, one of the kids says, "They don't look scared in the Crown Victoria." One of the other kids responds, "No, they're laughing." Jack eventually interrupts the kids' conversation, asking why it matters what's going on in other cars. The first kid responds, "I want to know how scared I should be."

The trailer then moves on to various shots of their life before the airborne toxic event occurs — consumers walking through the supermarket in single file lines, Jack teaching in his classroom. However, soon after, we begin seeing shots of the chaos, such as Jack crawling on the ground and the kids running.

The trailer ends with a shot of the family pausing before entering a supermarket, while Jack narrates, "May the days be aimless, let the seasons drift. Do not advance the action according to a plan."