The world of the dead will soon come alive in “The Book of Life.”
The trailer for the upcoming 3-D animated film from Mexican director Jorge Gutierrez and producer Guillermo del Toro was released last week and promises to take audiences through an afterlife filled with vibrant and colorful characters.
“The Book of Life” follows the story of three childhood friends caught in a love triangle -- featuring the macho heartthrob Joaquin (Channing Tatum) and the bullfighting musician Manolo (Diego Luna) as they fight to win over Maria (Zoe Saldaña).
The twist comes when the gods of the dead wager on who Maria will end up marrying and Manolo is forced to face his own fear of leaving behind his family’s bullfighting legacy to play the guitar. The matador soon finds himself in the magical Land of the Remembered, where people who have lived fulfilling lives go after they die, and later in the Land of the Forgotten, where the dead who hadn’t realized their dreams end up.
The film comes with a star-studded voice cast including Danny Trejo, Hector Elizondo, Plácido Domingo, Kate del Castillo, Ana de la Reguera, Cheech Marin, Christina Applegate, Gabriel Iglesias and more.
The movie was born out of Gutierrez’s deep connection with Mexico’s Day of the Dead, celebrated Nov. 1-2, and much of the animation is stylized by the masks and figures that are synonymous with its celebration. Though not everyone the director spoke to about the film understood tthe true meaning of the holiday.
"I have been pitching the story and people have been saying, 'This is cool, but you're never going to get it made,' " Gutierrez told USA Today. "To other cultures it might seem dark, but the Day of the Dead is actually a very positive thing. It's about joyfully remembering the people no longer with us."
After 14 years of trying to get the film made, Gutierrez joined forces with compatriot Guillermo del Toro to bring his vision to life. “The Book of Life” premieres nationwide on October 17, just weeks before the holiday.
Check out the trailer above.