The first trailer and poster for the teen comedy Darby and the Dead hit online Wednesday (November 16) and Auli’i Cravalho is giving us supernatural Mean Girls vibes.
The film stars Riele Downs (Henry Danger) as the title character Darby Harper, a high school student who can see dead people. This newfound ability, of course, doesn’t make Darby the most popular girl in school. Most people think she is a freak.
Things change, however, when Capri Donahue (Auli’i Cravalho), the vicious head cheerleader and the Queen Bee of the school’s most popular clique, unexpectedly dies in a freak hair straightening accident. Now, Capri needs Darby to get all her friends to throw the “Sweet 17” birthday party that was already planned before her death.
The film’s official description reads: “To appease the wrath of the undead diva, Darby must emerge from her self-imposed exile and reinvent herself – which along the way allows her to find new joy back in the land of the living.”
The trailer starts with Darby explaining how she sees dead people and helps them “pass on to the next realm.” That, however, is not Darby’s “biggest burden” in life. She still has to go to high school every day and put up with Capri’s mean-spirited attitude. “She can be a little extra sometimes,” one of Darby’s classmates tells her. Darby replies: “Extra psychotic.”
Cravalho, who was the voice of the title character in Disney’s 2016 Academy Award-nominated animated film Moana, is of Native Hawaiian, Puerto Rican, Portuguese, Chinese, and Irish descent. When her character Capri dies, she turns to Darby for help. “All I want is this party,” she tells her. “Help me, and then I’ll move on.”
Throwing a party for a dead girl, however, won’t be easy. Will Darby go with the flow or will Capri – even from beyond the grave – make Darby’s life a living hell in high school?
Darby and the Dead premieres on Hulu on December 2, 2022.