Carmen movie starring Paul Mescal & Melissa Barrera set for release

A new film adaptation based on Bizet’s epic opera Carmen is coming to US movie theatres this Spring.

Starring Academy Award-nominee and West End star Paul Mescal (A Streetcar Named Desire, Normal People, Aftersun) as Aidan, and Melissa Barrera (Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights) as Carmen, this modern-day re-imagining of Carmen will be released in the US on 21 April 2023.

The movie will also be released in France on 14 June 2023.

Directed by Benjamin Millepied, and written by Alexander Dinelaris and Loïc Barrère and Benjamin Millepied, the movie is a gritty modern day tale, with a big new score by Nicholas Britell, and dream-like dance sequences.

The film also stars Rossy de Palma, The D.O.C., Benedict Hardie, Richard Brancatisano, and Elsa Pataky.

Paul Mescal is currently starring in the Almeida’s production of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire at the Phoenix Theatre, directed by Rebecca Frecknall (Cabaret). Also starring Patsy Ferran, Anjana Vasan and Dwane Walcott, the show sold-out at the Phoenix within a few hours.

The story moves the original opera’s setting to the Southern States of the US, and follows young and fiercely independent woman Carmen (Melissa Barrera) who is forced to flee her home in the Mexican desert following the brutal murder of her mother, another strong and mysterious woman. Carmen survives a terrifying and dangerous illegal border crossing into the US, only to be confronted by a lawless volunteer border guard who cold-bloodedly murders two other immigrants in her group. When the border guard and his patrol partner, Aidan (Paul Mescal) – a Marine with PTSD – become embroiled in a deadly standoff, Carmen and Aidan are forced to escape together. They make their way north toward Los Angeles in search of Carmen’s mother’s best friend, the mercurial Masilda and owner of La Sombra nightclub – a sanctuary of music and dance. Carmen and Aidan find both solace and their unwavering love for each other in the safety of Masilda’s magical refuge, but time is running out as the police hunt closes in.

Millepied told Variety in 2019 that: “Carmen is the opera of my childhood. Growing up, it was an ever-present part of my musical beginnings. It has inspired me greatly as an artist. For many years, I have been passionate about creating a film musical, and ‘Carmen’ presents an incredibly exciting opportunity for exploring dance and music onscreen.”

Filmed in Broken Hill in Australia, Jamie Dornan was originally cast to play Aidan, but was replaced by Paul Mescal.

Carmen debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2022, and is released by Sony Pictures Classics. It was produced by Chapter 2, Goalpost Pictures (The Sapphires), and Sony Picture Classics.

Sadly there’s no news on when Carmen will be released in the UK – or other countries – (it seems the November 2022 release didn’t happen), but we will keep you posted.

In other Carmen-related news, English National Opera’s revival of Bizet’s Carmen opened this week – to great reviews. Book tickets here.

Sony Pictures Classics

📷 Main photo: Paul Mescal in Carmen. Photo courtesy of Sony

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