Brow Beat

Hail, Old Hollywood! All the MGM References in the New Coen Brothers Trailer, Annotated

Coen Brothers fans have been speculating about the real-life inspirations behind their new movieHail, Caesar!, for months now, but the release of the first trailer on Friday morning cleared up a lot—while raising a whole batch of new questions.

Some inspirations appear to be pretty clear. Channing Tatum seems to be channeling MGM star Gene Kelly, who was known to bust a move or two while wearing a sailor suit. Scarlett Johansson is definitely channeling swimmer and MGM star Esther Williams. And, as MGM studio exec and “fixer” Eddie Mannix, Josh Brolin seems to be channeling … MGM studio exec and “fixer” Eddie Mannix. Similarly, a glance at the credits on IMDb reveals you were right if you thought Tilda Swinton’s Hollywood gossip columnist seemed reminiscent of real-life Hollywood gossip columnist Hedda Hopper. But what about George Clooney’s bumbling star? Ralph Fiennes’ foppish director? We break it all down, as best we can, in the video above.