Bo Burnham's 'Eighth Grade': Cast, Release Date, Trailer And Everything We Know

14 March 2018, 14:49 | Updated: 14 March 2018, 15:03

Bo Burnham, Elsie Fisher
Bo Burnham, Elsie Fisher. Picture: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival, Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

By James Wilson-Taylor

The comedian's debut feature film premieres at Sundance Festival this January.

Fans of comedian Bo Burnham were left in shock recently as he took to Twitter to announce that he has been secretly making his first feature film, entitled Eighth Grade, which premiered at Sundance festival on January 19th:

The former YouTuber (and king of Vine) quickly became one of the most admired names in stand up with his musical comedy and boundary-pushing performances attracting the attention of Netflix, who produced his most recent special Make Happy, and MTV who commissioned his previous TV series Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous.

News of Eighth Grade first broke when the lineup for Sundance was released in late 2017 but seemed to slip under the radar for most of his devoted followers.

Safe to say, they seem pretty delighted by the news:

So, what do we actually know so far about this mysterious project? Well, here's all the info currently available:

What is the release date of Eighth Grade?

The movie premiered on 19th January 2018 at the Sundance film festival with a wider distribution (hopefully) set to be announced soon. The distribution rights are held by the company A24 who were also responsible for Moonlight, The Disaster Artist and Lady Bird among others.

Following another screening at SXSW in Austin, Bo announced that the movie will receive a wide release this July:

Who is the writer and director of Eighth Grade?

Bo Burnham took on both writing directing duties on the movie, originally working under the title The Coolest Girl In The World. This will be Burnham's feature writing debut although he previously had a project entitled Gay Kid And Fat Chick included in the prestigious 'Blacklist' of unproduced screenplays most loved by industry insiders.

Who is in the cast of Eighth Grade?

Elsie Fisher, best known for voicing Agnes in the Despicable Me films, plays the lead role of Kayla. Other cast members include Josh Hamilton, Emily Robinson, Daniel Zolghadri, Jake Ryan, Greg Crowe and Frank Deal.

What is the plot of Eighth Grade?

Here is the official plot description from the Sundance press release:

"Thirteen-year-old Kayla endures the tidal wave of contemporary suburban adolescence as she makes her way through the last week of middle school — the end of her thus far disastrous eighth grade year — before she begins high school."

Early reviews from the festival have also unveiled some other key details, with Kayla having her own YouTube channel on which she attempts to post "inspirational" videos, adding to the themes of isolation and anxiety as examined through our Internet habits.

One other notable scene, involving a game of "truth or dare" with an older boy, also tackles issues of sexual consent which many critics have already compared to the issues raised by the 'Me Too' movement.

What are the reviews for Eighth Grade like?

Met with an overwhelmingly positive reaction, the screening received near-universal great reviews and is one of the most talked-about films of Sundance 2018. The movie currently has a score of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Read some of the early reviews for Bo Burnham's Eighth Grade below:


Indie Wire

Hollywood Reporter

Who is the producer of Eighth Grade?

Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, Christopher Storer, Lila Yacoub are all listed as producers.

Will Bo Burnham's Eighth Grade be a musical?

Sadly no. The screenplay for Gay Kid And Fat Chick included songs and music has obviously always played a huge part in Bo's previous work but Burnham is clearly taking this opportunity to try something totally different. The film does however fetaure an original musical score by Anna Meredith that is very electronic in nature.

Has the trailer for Bo Burnham's Eighth Grade been released yet?

Yep, the first trailer arrived on March 14th, watch it below:

Plus, watch a post-screening Q&A session with Bo Burnham, Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton and Anna Meredith in the video below:

Bo Burnham's Eighth Grade - Sundance 2018 World Premiere Q&A