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What is Malcolm & Marie about? Is the film starring Zendaya about Malcolm X’s wife?

Malcom & Marie on Netflix
John David Washington and Zendaya star in Malcolm & Marie, a movie with Oscar buzz. Pic credit: Netflix

Malcolm & Marie is getting ready to bow on Netflix early next month after being shown in select theaters. The official trailer became available on Friday, showing a bit of what this buzzy film is all about.

Does Malcolm & Marie concern Malcolm X and his wife?

Although some fans believe the movie starring Golden Globe nominee John David Washington and Emmy winner Zendaya is about Malcolm X and his wife, this is not the case.

In fact, Malcolm X was married to Betty Shabazz, also known as Betty X. She died from injuries she sustained in a fire after her outspoken husband was assassinated, according to Biography.

So what is Malcolm & Marie about?

Netflix explains the premise for this film which is in contention for Oscar glory.

“As a filmmaker and his girlfriend return home from his movie premiere, smoldering tensions, and painful revelations push them toward a romantic reckoning,” the streaming service states.

In the spirit of Edward Albee’s enduring Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, the entire film takes place in one evening.

Throughout the duration of Malcolm & Marie, the pairs’ ups and downs introduce a dramatic coupling that is steamy on both ends of the spectrum.

In the movie, both Malcolm and Marie display their insecurities as well as their passions.

That said, reviews for this film explain how these human traits affect how the two characters relate to each other, indicates Deadline.

Sam Levinson wrote and directed Malcolm & Marie

Euphoria’s Sam Levinson also directed Malcolm & Marie which he based on a screenplay he wrote within a six-day period.

This happened during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

Levinson and Zendaya were on hiatus from their HBO show after production on Euphoria was halted because of the spread of COVID-19. Because both creative forces were at loose ends, Zendaya suggested that her director come up with a vehicle in which she could star.

And he did.

For Malcolm & Marie, pandemic safety protocols were in full effect with temperatures of on-set parties being checked daily. Also, quarantining was in effect during the shoot as well as during the two weeks before and after the shooting took place.

Where was Malcolm & Marie filmed?

Malcolm & Marie, which was captured on 35 mm black-and-white film, was shot at a Carmel, California home called the Caterpillar House.

A modern take on a residential ranch manse, this sleek hillside home offered plenty of opportunities for the two actors to express their emotions. During their performance, Zendaya and John David Washington took over the rambling house, delivering torrid lines from the bedroom to the terrace deck.

Both former teen star and current Euphoria lead Zendaya, now 24-years-old, and 36-year-old Washington, former football star and, incidentally, the son of Denzel Washington, crackle as a powerhouse couple in Levinson’s moving movie.

Indeed, Malcolm & Marie is already garnering high praise and more than a few hints that the film will be awarded multiple nods by the Motion Picture Academy come Oscar nomination time.

Malcolm & Marie premieres on February 5 on Netflix.

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