David Oyelowo's The Water Man Trailer Blends Family, Fantasy, and Adventure

Lonnie Chavis and Amiah Miller in The Water Man.
Lonnie Chavis and Amiah Miller in The Water Man.
Photo: RLJE Films

Actor David Oyelowo is taking a crack at directing and the trailer for his first film is all kinds of heartbreaking and beautiful.

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It’s called The Water Man and it co-stars Rosario Dawson, Alfred Molina, and Maria Bello as the adults. But, as you’ll see in the trailer, The Water Man isn’t about them. It’s about a boy named Gunner (Lonnie Chavis) who wants to save his ailing mother (Dawson) and sets out with a local girl (Amiah Miller) to find a mythic being named the Water Man. A being that, Gunner believes, has the secret to immortality. A secret that’ll save his mom.

From there, the film looks like a full-on Goonies-type adventure as the kids go looking for the Water Man while the adults, led by Gunner’s dad (Oyelowo) try to find them. Here’s the trailer.

First of all, whether The Water Man is good, bad, or in between, the fact it has a young child adventuring in the woods with a samurai sword needs to be recognized and respected. Because that’s just awesome.

Beyond that, my reading of that trailer is the Water Man isn’t some mythical creature. It seems like he’ll end up just being a guy who lives in the woods that has become a local legend. And when Gunner finds him, which the trailer reveals, he’s probably going to realize nothing can stop death and it’ll become a sad, poignant, coming-of-age story.

Or maybe he actually is an immortal creature who saves his mom and she goes on to star in her very own Disney+ show as a legendary Jedi Padawan. We don’t know.

What we do know is, no matter how it plays out, Oyelowo certainly has an eye for directing. The trailer has impressive scope, emotion, and visuals. And then the cast is just stellar. From the Star Wars connection of Agent Kallus (who Oyelowo voices) and Ahsoka Tano (Dawson, obviously), to Spider-Man fan favorite Doc Ock (Molina), consider our interest piqued.

The Water Man debuts only in theaters (which seems like a weird decision for a movie like this) on May 7.

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Entertainment Reporter. NYU Cinema Studies Alum. Formerly Premiere, EW, Us Weekly, and /Film. AP Award-Winning Film Critic & CCA member. Loves Star Wars, posters, Legos, and often all three at once.

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