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Documenting the Runaways' myth: First trailer for Kristen Stewart film released (Updated)

December 17, 2009 |  2:29 pm

The trailer for the anticipated rock 'n' roll film based on late '70s teenage rockers the Runaways has been released online, and if one can unfairly draw conclusions from a 50-second, fast-cut teaser, it's giving punk rock a nostalgic makeover. "The Runaways have the most chance of any group I've seen to tear this world apart," is the voice-over heard in the clip's final moments, setting up, no doubt, a crash-and-burn rock 'n' roll tale.

But rock 'n' roll, after all, is about nothing if not myth-making, and the real fan appeal of the teaser is getting a glimpse of "Twilight" star Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett and Dakota Fanning as Runaways vocalist Cherie Currie. The clip is fast, and full of fury, with shots of Stewart breaking glass and throwing chairs, and snippets of the newly recorded film version of the Runaways' first single, "Cherry Bomb."

There's no real glimpse (Edit: There is a very brief glimpse) of record industry puppet-master Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon), or any indication as of yet whether the film will touch on deeper issues of rock 'n' roll exploitation that the Runaways story presents (Runaways albums came complete with the group members' ages in the credits). But it succeeds in setting up anticipation for a film that documents the fast rise and quick fall of one of the nation's more influential all-girl groups -- and one that will hopefully inspire a few kids to pick up the guitar. 

"The Runways," the feature film debut from director Floria Sigismondi, will premiere at Sundance, and open in March. Watch the teaser below.

--Todd Martens

Screen shot from "The Runaways" (Riverroad)

Updated to recognize the proper screen time given to Michael Shannon, described "as a cross between 'Citizen Kane' & a 'Vampire From Outer Space'" from one "Kim Fowley" in our comments section.