When a working actor dies, there’s always that one film that comes out after their death that proudly proclaims that it is the actor’s last role, though often it wasn’t even the last film the actor shot. Usually, it happens within a year of the actor’s death, but for Carrie Fisher her final turn on the big screen is coming seven years after her death in 2016. The trailer for Wonderwell, a fantasy adventure movie, dropped today and features Carrie Fisher as a mystical witch.
The film is an adventurous fantasy about a 12-year-old girl (Kiera Milward) who falls into another realm where a good witch named Hazel (Carrie Fisher) lives alongside nature. However, it seems that not all is as it seems in the real world as fashion designer, and possible evil witch, Yana (Rita Ora) is upset with Hazel for taking the girl. What unfolds looks like a visually stunning film with plenty of imagination and a ton of heart. Hopefully, it allows Fisher to go out on a high note as the movie finally releases in a limited run at AMC theaters and then on digital.
The movie, directed by first-timer Vlad Marsavin, was being worked on for years after it finished filming in 2016 right before the actress’s death. According to Marsavin the visual effects and finalization of the movie is what took so long, with COVID-19 causing even more issues and Fisher’s unexpected death putting work on hold for a while as well.
“The visual effects on a movie of this magnitude takes time, but we were challenged with Covid lockdowns and of course the passing of our wonderful Carrie Fisher,” Marsavin said. “Now is the perfect time to share her magical on(-)screen moments as Hazel.”
An actor’s final performances are truly a toss-up, especially for those who die unexpectedly. Sometimes they can turn into a fitting tribute and powerful role such as James Gandolfini in The Drop, but other times you get Raul Julia staggering through Street Fighter (and somehow making it work). Hopefully, Wonderwell can give Carrie Fisher a suitable screen send-off, and given the amount of life-affirming quotes in the trailer alone, it seems like it should. It’s a half-sight better than clipping together unused footage of her and cramming it into The Rise of Skywalker — that’s for sure.
Wonderwell will release in AMC theaters on June 23.