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Three Thousand Years of Longing: release date, cast and everything we know about the movie

Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba in Three Thousand Years of Longing
(Image credit: United Artists Releasing)

Three Thousand Years of Longing is George Miller’s first movie since 2015’s fantastic Mad Max: Fury Road and joining him in this outing is Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton. What does the filmmaker have in store for movie fans after a seven year wait?

The movie is going to get its first look at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, May 17-28, before it arrives for the general public, but we have everything you need to know about Three Thousand Years of Longing right here.

When is the Three Thousand Years of Longing release date?

Three Thousand Years of Longing is scheduled for an August 31 release date in the US. It is unclear if that date is going to be the same for other regions like the UK. We’ll update this page with that information as it becomes available.

As we mentioned its been seven years since Miller made his last movie, but such gaps aren’t uncommon for the director. During his career he’s gone five, six and eight years between movies. They’re often worth the wait though.

Also check out what are some of the other new movies coming out in 2022.

What is the plot of Three Thousand Years of Longing?

While broad plot details are being kept under wraps, Three Thousand Years of Longing is described as a fantasy romance that depicts an encounter between a scholar and a djinn (aka a genie) in an Istanbul hotel room. The djiin offers the scholar three wishes in exchange for his freedom, but their conversation leads to things neither of them could have expected.

Three Thousand Years of Longing is an original screenplay written by George Miller.

Who is in the Three Thousand Years of Longing cast?

Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba headline Three Thousand Years of Longing. Swinton is playing the scholar, Alithea Binnie, while Elba plays the djiin.

Swinton and Elba are two A-list actors who have been working for decades. Swinton is best known for her Oscar-winning role in Michael Clayton and movies like We Need to Talk About Kevin, Snowpiercer and Suspiria. Elba, meanwhile, broke out with the BBC show Luther, starred in big blockbusters like Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw and The Suicide Squad, as well as being a popular pick for the next James Bond. The two also have occupied the Marvel Cinematic Universe — Swinton as the Ancient One and Elba as Heimdall. However, Three Thousand Years of Longing marks their first time working together.

Other members of the Three Thousand Years of Longing cast, per IMDb, include Kaan Guldur, David Collins, Alyla Browne, Jack Braddy and Nicholas Mouawad. 

Who is director George Miller?

Here’s a little more info on the career of George Miller, who is best known for directing Max Mad: Fury Road but has a varied career that spans back to the '70s.

Miller’s first feature film was the original Mad Max starring Mel Gibson in 1979. He directed all of its sequels, including The Road Warrior, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and Mad Max: Fury Road. He also is lined up to direct the Fury Road spinoff Furiosa (tapped right now for a 2024 release) and another Mad Max movie, Mad Max: The Wasteland.

If all this makes you think a fantasy romance seems like an odd choice for Miller, he actually has been a director who loves to tackle different types of projects. Some of his other credits include fantasy comedy The Witches of Eastwick, the biopic Lorenzo’s Oil and the kid-focused movies Babe: Pig in the City, Happy Feet and Happy Feet Two. But based on first look at the movie, perhaps we shouldn't be expecting the traditional kind of "fantasy romance" from Miller.

Is there a Three Thousand Years of Longing trailer?

The first trailer for Three Thousand Years of Longing is going to debut online on Friday, May 20. In the meantime, a quick teaser offering our first look at the movie has been released. Give it a watch below:

Three Thousand Years of Longing poster

(Image credit: MGM)

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun.