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'Call Jane' trailer sees Elizabeth Banks fight for abortion rights

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Elizabeth Banks stars in "Call Jane," an upcoming film about a women's advocacy group dedicated to providing abortions in the 1960s and 1970s. Photo courtesy of Roadside Attractions
Elizabeth Banks stars in "Call Jane," an upcoming film about a women's advocacy group dedicated to providing abortions in the 1960s and 1970s. Photo courtesy of Roadside Attractions

Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Roadside Attractions on Tuesday released the official trailer for Call Jane, an upcoming comedy-drama film centering around the push for abortion rights in the 1960s and 1970s.

The film is led by a star-studded cast, including Elizabeth Banks, Sigourney Weaver, Kate Mara and Wunmi Mosaku.

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The trailer depicts Joy (Banks), a housewife in 1968 Chicago whose pregnancy ends up leading to a life-threatening condition.

She runs into a barrier, though, as abortion was illegal at the time in Illinois -- and many other states.

"What's the treatment?" Joy and her husband are heard asking a doctor.

"To not be pregnant," he replies.

As she is unable to find anyone at the male-dominated doctor's offices willing to give her an abortion, she turns to Gwen (Mosaku) and Virginia (Weaver), members of an underground group called the Jane Collective who are dedicated to providing safe abortions.

"Joy is so inspired by their work, she decides to join forces with them, putting every aspect of her life on the line," the film's official synopsis says.

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"It's not perfect, but it works," Virginia says of the group. "I'm not scared of jail. I'm scared there won't be anyone left to answer the phone."

The film is inspired by the true story of the Jane Collective, who were active in providing reproductive healthcare throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s, until the passage of Roe V. Wade in 1973 guaranteed a woman's right to an abortion.

The film seems significantly timely, with the Jane Collective receiving heightened awareness following the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe V. Wade this past June.

Beyond Call Jane, the origins of the group were also discussed in an HBO documentary called The Janes, which featured firsthand interviews with former members of the group.

Call Jane was directed by Phyllis Nagy, known for her screen debut in 2005 with Mrs. Harris.

The made-for-TV film would put on the map as a screenwriter and earn her two Emmy Award nominations.

She is also known for penning the 2015 romantic drama film Carol, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, for which she would earn an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Banks, Weaver and Mara were first cast in the film in 2020, with filming taking place in 2021.

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The film had its debut at the Sundance Film Festival this past January, with the distribution rights being acquired by indie production house Roadside Attractions the next month.

It also received an international debut during this year's Berlin International Film Festival.

Call Jane will be released in theaters on Oct. 28.

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