Jenna Ortega as Cairo Sweet in Miller's Girl

Everyone Is Going To Be Talking About Jenna Ortega’s New Movie

Jenna Ortega’s new movie is a far cry from her Disney Channel day. In a role that’s bound to get people talking, Ortega is starring opposite Martin Freeman in the upcoming erotic thriller Miller’s Girl.

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Ortega is expanding her acting range even further in the twisted new thriller. Although she got her start on the Disney Channel series Stuck in the Middle, Ortega has since gone on to play many varied roles, moving easily between family films, slashers, and crime thrillers—making the move to erotic thrillers less surprising.

Written and directed by first-time feature filmmaker Jade Bartlett, Miller’s Girl explores the inappropriate relationship between a student and a teacher. It’s far from the first film to explore this concept, but the twist teased in the trailer might leave some viewers taken aback. Here’s what we know about Miller’s Girl so far.

Lionsgate drops the first dark trailer for Miller’s Girl

Lionsgate dropped the first official trailer for Miller’s Girl just a little more than a month before the film is set to hit theaters on January 26, 2024.

The trailer plays to the backdrop of Daughter‘s “Burn It Down,” contributing to the dark and foreboding tone. Meanwhile, viewers see Freeman and Ortega as teacher and student, as well as snapshots of the progression of their relationship. Things get dangerous fast as Freeman gives special treatment and attention to Ortega. Eventually, he seems to get scared of the inappropriate territory they’re in. However, Ortega doesn’t appear willing to let him out so easily and sets out to destroy his career. Viewers feel as if they’re missing some vital parts of this story, raising curiosity about how it actually plays out. It seems like it could be a fairly bold and disturbing movie, with illicit relationships and a deep dive into obsession and vengeance.

What to expect from Miller’s Girl

Martin Freeman as Jonathan Miller and Jenna Ortega as Cairo Sweet in Miller's Girl
(Paramount Plus)

Ortega portrays Cairo Sweet, an 18-year-old student with a talent for writing. Freeman plays her teacher, Jonathan Miller. The Society‘s Gideon Adlon also stars in Miller’s Girl as Winnie, who appears to be Sweet’s friend. Rounding out the cast are Bashir Salahuddin, Dagmara Dominczyk, and Christine Adams in undisclosed roles.

The film’s official synopsis reads:

A talented young writer (Jenna Ortega) embarks on a creative odyssey when her teacher (Martin Freeman) assigns a project that entangles them both in an increasingly complex web. As lines blur and their lives intertwine, professor and protégé must confront their darkest selves while straining to preserve their individual sense of purpose and the things they hold most dear.

Both the synopsis and trailer confirm that the film tackles some very complex themes and may be controversial to some viewers. In fact, the trailer for Miller’s Girl has already sparked some backlash on social media. The major concern is that the trailer seems to insinuate that Sweet instigated the relationship and tries to ruin Miller’s life when he stops it from going further. It’s a storyline the film would need to tread carefully to avoid promoting the idea that young girls “seduce” older men or are culpable in inappropriate relationships. Miller’s Girl will also need to be careful not to perpetuate the idea that it’s common for women to lie about misconduct to ruin men’s lives.

These are valid concerns, but, as mentioned above, we may not be getting the whole story from the trailer and synopsis. It’s clear that Miller crossed a few lines, so there’s not too much danger of him being painted as an innocent teacher. Viewers aren’t likely to pity him for getting himself into this situation. Even in the trailer, other characters remind him that he’s the teacher and in a position of power, so the fault already lies more squarely on him, regardless of whether Sweet is legally an adult and pursuing the relationship. Lastly, it’s unknown how trustworthy he is. Just because he got scared about the consequences of his actions and claims Sweet is lying doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the case.

Ultimately, Miller’s Girl seems to be weaving a dark and complicated web of a story. While it looks like an engaging thriller, it remains to be seen how the film will navigate the complex narrative.

(featured image: Lionsgate)

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.