‘Trap’ Trailer: M. Night Shyamalan’s New Thriller Casts Josh Hartnett as a Serial Killer at a Pop Star’s Concert

Warner Bros. has released the trailer for M. Night Shyamalan’s latest mystery thriller “Trap,” starring Josh Hartnett, Saleka Shyamalan, Hayley Mills and Marnie McPhail.

According to the official logline, “Trap” follows a “father and teen daughter attending a pop concert, where they realize they’re at the center of a dark and sinister event.” The film’s first look was screened at this year’s CinemaCon in Las Vegas.

More from Variety

In the trailer, Hartnett’s character and his daughter, Jody, are at the concert of pop star Lady Raven. When Hartnett runs off to the bathroom, he sees that there is a heavy police presence at the concert and quickly learns they are there to catch a serial killer. The twist is that Hartnett is the killer they are looking for, and it is revealed on his phone that he is holding a victim hostage. The trailer ends with Hartnett maniacally laughing to himself.

In addition to CinemaCon, the “Trap” trailer was teased at an event this week in Los Angeles called “The Summer of Shyamalan,” in which the filmmaker spoke not only about “Trap” but also about “The Watchers,” which he produced. “The Watchers” is written and directed by his daughter, Ishana Night Shyamalan. The pop star in “Trap” is played by the director’s other daughter, Saleka, a singer-songwriter who also wrote several songs for the film.

The director said part of the appeal of making “Trap” was the idea of telling the story “from the vantage point of an unexpected person” — in this case, Hartnett’s killer. “It kind of led more and more to this dark humor angle that ‘Servant’ has and ‘The Visit’ and ‘Split’ had.” Shyamalan said he has really come to embrace that tone “and making sure it’s a fun time for everybody. It’s odd … when you should be terrified and you’re laughing at the same time.”

Shyamalan also spoke about casting Hartnett, who has recently made a return to acting by appearing in “Black Mirror” and “Oppenheimer.” Shyamalan said he works outside of Hollywood conventions, making films in a “small, reasonable” way. He noted, “What I’m looking for is someone that’s willing to just let go completely, give themselves over like a play to the movie and leap, leap, leap — don’t protect yourself. That beautiful electricity that requires the right actor at the right time in their life. And that’s where Josh was when when I when I met him.”

Shyamalan continued, “It was just a feeling of the right person at the right time. I just had the most wonderful time working with him.”

“Trap” is set to hit theaters Aug. 9. Watch the “Trap” trailer below.

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.