Here’s your first look at the new LGBTQ+ coming-of-age film Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.
Based on Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s critically acclaimed novel of the same name, the film follows Ari (Max Pelayo) and Dante (Reese Gonzales), “two Mexican American boys on the cusp of manhood who form a life-changing bond after a chance meeting at an El Paso pool in the summer of 1987.”
At the start of the trailer, Ari is seen walking in the sweltering Texas heat while he reflects on his fears of being alone forever.
“One summer night, I fell asleep afraid nothing in my family would ever change and I would feel alone forever,” he says in a voice-over.
The trailer then switches over to Ari meeting Dante for the first time, who says he can teach the former how to swim.
As the teaser progresses, the two teens get closer after opening up about their dreams and introducing each other to their families.
However, things take a dramatic turn when Dante reveals that he and his parents are moving to Chicago for a year.
Towards the end of the emotional trailer, the two characters navigate their complicated romantic feelings for each other while also looking inward at who they are and where they fit into the world.
“Are there going to be rules for us?” Dante asks Ari, to which the latter replies, “Guess so” – which results in Dante stating, “If you can’t stick by me, it will kill me.”
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In addition to Pelayo and Gonzales, the new film stars Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives), Kevin Alejandro (Lucifer), Luna Blaise (Manifest), Eugenio Derbez (Instructions Not Included), and Veronica Falcón (Ozark).
Additional cast members include Marlene Forte (Knives Out), Emiliano Torress (Mayans M.C.), Hanai Taylor (Criminal Minds), Melissa Macedo (Girl Boss), Michelle Macedo (Goliath) and Isabelle Gomez (One Day at a Time).
Lastly, the film is directed and written by openly trans director Aitch Alberto.
In an interview with Variety, Alberto opened up about the film’s creative process and her introduction to the popular book.
“It was a recommendation from a friend, and I read it on a whim in one sitting. It spoke to my soul in a way that I hadn’t experienced before, and it unlocked so much in me,” she explained.
“It subverted expectations and narratives that we see around Latinx people and queer people in such a gentle way and beautiful way. It became my life’s work to make it into a move.”
Alberto also discussed pitching the film to Hamilton star Lin-Manuel Miranda – who voiced the novel’s audiobook and served as the film’s producer.
“That was in 2018. It was New Year’s Day. I’ll never forget it. I was driving back from Santa Barbara, and we sent Lin the script the traditional route,” she explained.
“And I was like, ‘I want to take matters into my own hands.’ That’s when I tweeted at him and he replied 20 minutes later.”
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe will be released in theaters on 8 September.
Watch the first trailer here or below.