In the years since his death, pop culture has compressed David Foster Wallace down to “the guy who wrote Infinite Jest, and killed himself.” While both those things are certainly true—Infinite Jest’s sprawling, distinctive prose catapulted Wallace to national fame, and Wallace did commit suicide in 2008— they obviously don’t tell the whole story.
The trailer opens with Eisenberg, as journalist David Lipsky, offering a eulogy of the late author. From there, the story jumps back in time, as Lipsky was assigned to shadow and profile Wallace (Jason Segel) for a Rolling Stone interview. Director James Ponsoldt presents a Wallace who isn’t comfortable with himself, the public scrutiny that Lipsky represents, or the mythologizing of his identity as a literary figure.
The trailer draws the two together in uneasy moments, their growing closeness suggesting mutual admiration as both men are forced to accept their own worth (at least until their next moment of self-doubt). As the trailer winds down, the two drift farther apart, and Lipsky reminisces on the work, the writer, and the lasting personal impact of spending a brief window of time with Wallace.
The End Of The Tour opens in theaters on July 31.