The New Trailer For ‘The Bikeriders’ All But Guarantees Austin Butler’s Hot Streak Will Continue

Austin Butler and Tom Hardy
Focus Features

You could argue Austin Butler’s hot streak extends further back to 2018 or so. He starred alongside Denzel Washington on Broadway that year in Eugene O’Neill’s epic The Iceman Cometh. On a brief break during that play’s run, Butler took a flight to meet with Quentin Tarantino, ultimately scoring a breakout role in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Somewhere in there, Denzel personally recommended Butler to Elvis director Baz Luhrmann. To his credit, Butler kicked the door in on that opportunity, beating out several other big-name actors to play the King of Rock and Roll to the tune of a Golden Globe win and Best Actor Oscar nomination.

Butler went straight from a years-long Elvis deep dive into the Apple TV+ series Masters of the Air, a spiritual successor to period war TV dramas Band of Brothers and The Pacific. Yet another big hit on a project that came his way thanks to a strong relationship with his Elvis costar, Tom Hanks. Oh yeah, and he hosted SNL in 2022! All that alone is mighty impressive. However, Austin Butler is not done, folks.

With Dune: Part Two literally hitting theaters everywhere tonight and Butler scoring more rave reviews for his villainous turn as Feyd-Rautha, Focus Features did a savvy little thing. They dropped a second trailer for The Bikeriders on Thursday to fuel the ever-building, 1oo% deserved Austin Butler hype train:

Don’t really recall seeing the first teaser for the latest offering from writer-director Jeff Nichols, but this looks bada*s as can be. Butler doesn’t even have top billing, despite figuring into the story very much as a member of a biker gang. It’s actually Jodie Comer who Nichols put No. 1 on the call sheet over the likes of Butler and Tom Hardy.

That fact alone should give this seemingly straightforward examination of biker culture a unique twist. Comer is a phenomenal performer who can master damn near any accent, and it’ll be so fun to see what she does here as the wife of Butler’s character.

Since I’m a weirdo who watches way too many press junkets for movies, I remember Glen Powell talking about advice he got from Tom Cruise about his career when they were doing Top Gun: Maverick together. Cruise explained that he didn’t have the success he had by being concerned about the size of his roles, though he’s been the main star of many a film. He was more concerned about choosing great characters in great projects — whether they were leading or supporting parts.

Just think about how true that is for Tom Cruise. Yeah, he’s dominated the action scene with the Mission: Impossible franchise. But look at some of his non-leading turns from earlier in his career. Playing second to Paul Newman in Martin Scorsese’s The Color of Money. An Oscar nomination for Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia. Then, a little later on, a shocking, hilarious movie executive caricature by the name of Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder.

Saying all that about Cruise to say that the same principle applies to Butler with some of his choices. Timothee Chalamet is the clear lead of Denis Villenueve’s Dune saga, and that’s about as stacked of a cast as you’ll ever see. It would seem there’s no weird, egotistical beef between Chalamet and Butler whatsoever, either.

Butler fully embraced his supporting part and leaned 100% into his heel role for Dune: Part Two. Even Masters of the Air, with Butler as the lead star, is quite a big ensemble cast as well.

Now with The Bikeriders, it looks like Butler gets plenty to do with an acting titan in Tom Hardy — not to mention frequent Nichols collaborator Michael Shannon, among others — but still concedes the lead to Comer.

Out of 35 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, The Bikeriders sits at 86% following its premiere at the Telluride Film Festival in August. You could use that to signal another hit for Butler more than anything, yet how many times do we see near-unanimous critical acclaim for films that don’t connect with mass audiences in nearly the same way? The trailer is a valuable piece of the puzzle to project how an audience might receive an upcoming wide-release movie. Based on what was revealed this fine Thursday, The Bikeriders looks like it’ll score high with critics and audiences alike.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock