Austin Butler as Benny in 20th Century Studios' THE BIKERIDERS. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2023 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

What Is This Hot Motorcycle Movie?

Sometimes a movie seems like it just comes out of nowhere. That’s The Bikeriders. 20th Century Studios released a trailer for the movie (which screened at Telluride), and if you weren’t excited before, can I suggest watching Austin Butler on a motorcycle to make you feel better about your life?

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Based on a photography book by Danny Lyon and written and directed by Jeff Nichols, The Bikeriders takes us into the story of fictional motorcycle club the Vandals. Joining Butler in the cast is Jodie Comer, Tom Hardy, Mike Faist, Boyd Holbrook, Michael Shannon, and Norman Reedus. While I might not have known a thing about this movie beforehand, the trailer is a beautiful way to get excited for what The Bikeriders has in store for us.

Is Tom Hardy going full Marlon Brando? Has anyone told Austin Butler he is from Anaheim yet? Do we care? No because this looks like a wildly perfect movie that Tumblr probably put together in their dreams, and I can’t wait to see it. Unfortunately, we don’t know when the movie is set to be release, it was just delayed indefinitely because of the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike.

A movie about love and riding

Jodie Comer as Kathy in 20th Century Studios' THE BIKERIDERS. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2023 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.
(20th Century Studios)

If you, like me, are suddenly invested in this film, you probably want to know more—mainly what is going on with Jodie Comer’s role and how her husband finds his way back to his leader (Hardy). The synopsis for the film gives us a bit more of an idea of the plot of the movie, as well.

The Bikeriders “is a furious drama following the rise of a fictional 1960s Midwestern motorcycle club through the lives of its members. Inspired by Danny Lyon’s iconic book of photography, The Bikeriders immerses you in the look, feel, and sounds of the bare-knuckled, grease-covered subculture of ’60s motorcycle riders. Kathy (Comer), a strong-willed member of the Vandals who’s married to a wild, reckless bikerider named Benny (Butler), recounts the Vandals’ evolution over the course of a decade, beginning as a local club of outsiders united by good times, rumbling bikes, and respect for their strong, steady leader Johnny (Hardy). Over the years, Kathy tries her best to navigate her husband’s untamed nature and his allegiance to Johnny, with whom she feels she must compete for Benny’s attention. As life in the Vandals gets more dangerous, and the club threatens to become a more sinister gang, Kathy, Benny and Johnny are forced to make choices about their loyalty to the club and to each other.”

What is going on with Austin Butler and Tom Hardy?

(L-R): Austin Butler as Benny and Tom Hardy as Danny in 20th Century Studios' THE BIKERIDERS. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2023 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.
(20th Century Studios)

From the trailer, I know that Johnny is the leader and that he needs Benny, but I did at one point think that I wouldn’t mind if Johnny and Benny kissed, which is probably a me problem, but alas. Johnny (Hardy) is clearly in charge but also doesn’t take kindly to anyone hurting Benny (Butler) in this trailer, and if that’s not exactly the kind of story to get me invested in The Bikeriders, I don’t know what is—well, that and Hardy’s best take on Brando, but that’s definitely just a me thing.

Butler has been in a fascinating career turn since his rise after Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, for which he was nominated for an Oscar. But the juxtaposition of this and his role in Dune: Part II (which would have premiered right after The Bikeriders but was also delayed) shows that Butler at least has some range.

Still, I’m fascinated by the dynamic between Benny and Johnny. It seems as if the movie is going to focus a lot on their relationship and how they function as part of the Vandals, and that, to me, is the draw for The Bikeriders as a whole.

Yes, that’s Daryl Dixon

Norman Reedus as Funny Sonny in 20th Century Studios' THE BIKERIDERS. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2023 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.
(20th Century Studios)

The funniest part about this trailer is that actual motorcycle enthusiast Norman Reedus is barely recognizable. Now, the entire cast actually rode during the movie, but Reedus has a show where he rides on his motorcycle with celebrities. (September kicks off a new season with a ride with Keanu Reeves in the first episode!) The fact that he’s in so much makeup that he barely looks like himself when actual Reedus already does look like he rides? That’s honestly really funny.

That is him, though, underneath all that makeup, and it is exciting to see the world of riding collide with a movie like this, and I can’t wait to see what The Bikeriders has in store for us.

(featured image: 20th Century Studios)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.