With the distribution deal for “Three Thousand Years of Longing” being hammered out before Amazon’s acquisition of MGM, it seems like this film is in a similar boat to “The New Mutants,” the Fox superhero film that received a long-delayed theatrical release in 2020 even after Disney’s acquisition of the studio. Disney faced a lawsuit for changing the agreed-upon terms when it shifted another superhero film, “Black Widow,” to day-and-date, so Amazon would likely want to avoid anything of that sort happening with Miller’s movie.
“Three Thousand Years of Longing” is adapted by Miller and co-writer Augusta Gore from the short story “The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye” by A.S. Byatt. Swinton plays Alithea, a narratologist who describes herself as “a solitary creature by nature.” She’s a world traveler and chooses a memento in the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul that happens to be a bottle housing Elba’s genie — or Djinn, as he’s more properly known.
Djinn offers Alithea the typical three wishes, talking about hidden desires and asking the typical genie question of, “What is your heart’s desire?” But as someone who traffics in human storytelling (being a narratologist and all), Alithea recognizes, “There’s no story about wishes that is not a cautionary tale.”
As the conversation about storytelling goes beyond this film and its source material, the subject naturally came up in Miller’s interview with Variety, where he expressed optimism about the future of cinema, saying:
“I think congregations of people telling each other stories has evolved since early man. Cinema just has to adapt to it.”
“Three Thousand Years of Longing” is in theaters on August 31, 2022.