Margot Robbie, Christian Bale, and John David Washington are heading to Amsterdam, but folks aren’t happy about it. No matter how star-studded the cast may be, these days, no one’s particularly excited to watch a David O. Russell film. Still, the maligned director—who first made headlines for sexual assault to convince eight years ago—has managed the best of the best to work with him on his new flick, Amsterdam.
The main trio are the core of the film, a random group of three friends (imagine these three actors befriending one another in Hollywood today!) who journey to Amsterdam and witness a murder. As they become suspects themselves, they’re forced to band together and find the real murderer—even if he or she is hiding amongst the three of them.
“So, two soldiers and a nurse found ourselves in Amsterdam,” Bale’s gruff soldier narrates. “We formed a pact, and we swore to protect each other no matter what.”
The comedy is set in the 1930s, following the hijinks of our two soldiers, one nurse, but also a stacked supporting cast of pop culture’s biggest names. While frequent Russell collaborators like Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper have passed on appearing this time around, Christian Bale (who won an Oscar for his turn in Russell’s The Fighter) and Robert De Niro are returning for duty.
If Aaron Sorkin thought he had Hollywood’s best of the best in Don’t Look Up, Amsterdam is one-upping him. Robbie, Bale, and Washington are the film’s leads, but Rami Malek, Anya Taylor-Joy, Chris Rock, Zoe Saldaña, Mike Myers, Michael Shannon, Timothy Olyphant, Andrea Riseborough, Matthias Schoenaerts, Alessandro Nivola, Robert De Niro, and … Taylor Swift also make appearances.
Which begs the question: Why did all of these Hollywood darlings want to work with David O. Russell, of all people? After the trailer dropped today, social media users took no time to bring up the director’s shady past, which is tainted with one bombshell allegation of sexual harassment. There’s a reason Russell has been on a break for seven years.
“I want to freak out over the movie with Margot Robbie and Taylor Swift, but it’s more important to point out the heinous things that David O. Russell has been accused of,” wrote one, echoing a common sentiment. Others explicitly reminded followers of the accusations made against Russell several years ago.
Back in 2012, Russell’s 19-year-old niece Nicole Peloquin accused the director of fondling her breasts and placing his hands near her genitals. Adding to the abhorrence, Russell prodded his niece about her ongoing transition—after she had described the hormones she was using, the director slipped his hands under her shirt to feel her breasts.
The director didn’t dispute the incident, only adding that Peloquin was “acting very provocative towards him.” He did not face any charges.
And yet, the show must go on? Amsterdam will premiere in theaters on November 4.