Chances are when there’s less than two weeks to go before a film featuring high-profile actors hits theaters, and you’ve never heard of it, things aren’t looking good. A trailer has recently arrived for a new short film anthology, bluntly titled Stars in Shorts, that seems to gather a few major (failed?) short form films from the last few years and release them as one feature.

Featuring appearances from Colin Firth, Keira Knightley, Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, Sarah Paulson, Tom Hiddleston Lily Tomlin, Julia Stiles and many more, this new trailer has to be seen to be believed. Beginning with voiceover and titles that look be something from a Funny or Die short (especially with the character “names”), we get a glimpse at the films, all adding up to a completely mystifying experience.

Including a random Jason Alexander appearance, I have no idea how the final product will turn out (I could certainly wager a guess), but just this trailer is one of the funniest of the year. Check it out below, followed by info on the all shorts for the anthology with the tagline “Your Favorite Stars As You’ve Never Seen Them Before.” Indeed, especially when I heard Dame Judi Dench utter “OMG” and “LOL.” In any case, proceed with caution:


Director: Jay Kamen

Cast: Jason Alexander, Val Pettiford, Kathy Najimy, Sally Kirkland, Jullian Armenante, Jack Rapke, Amy Pascal, Joe Roth, Amy Heckerling, Stuart Cornfield

A comical, autobiographical, musical, NOT YOUR TIME follows the life and career disappointment of Sid Rosenthal (Jason Alexander) a once Hollywood screenwriter, now a studio censor film editor. When his latest screenplay proves to be a disappointment as well, Sid takes a new approach to his career and life.


Director: Chris Foggin

Cast: Judi Dench, Penny Ryder, Philip Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, John Macmillan

FRIEND REQUEST PENDING is a short comedy drama about the mature generation dating in our modern social networking world. It’s a tale of love but more importantly lifelong friendship. The twelve-minute tale tells the story of Mary (Judi Dench) and Linda (Penny Ryder) who spend an afternoon discussing the pleasures, pitfalls and problems with using social networking to try and woo the local choirmaster Trevor (Philip Jackson).


Director: Benjamin Grayson

Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Jennifer Morrison, Jessica Pettyjohn, Travis Crim, Taylor Kinney, Winter Ave Zoli

Parents of a paranormal child enact a dangerous plan to free her from the frightening grip of a clandestine organization.


Director: Robert Festinger

Cast: Lily Tomlin, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Lucy Punch

Producers: Tatiana Kelly, Roberta Munroe

Julie tearfully asks her brother, Jason, and their Mom to attend the funeral of a friend. Mom and Jason would rather not – they’d never even met the deceased woman. But they can’t say no. They do manage to negotiate with Julie, agreeing to go to the service, but not the burial. After the service, Mom and Jason, both famished, attempt to drive past the cars exiting the church and inadvertently get stuck in the funeral procession. Mom and Jason realize they now have to drive all the way to the cemetery, so as not to break up the procession. However, once they get everyone there, Mom and Jason will go on their way without ever stepping foot out of their car. It’s a plan. What isn’t the plan is where Mom and Jason forget they’re in the procession, desperately try to find the cars they were following, and now blindly lead the rest of the procession.


Director: Rupert Friend

Cast: Colin Firth, Keira Knightley, Tom Mison

Steve is a story about a man who came for tea…


Director: Neil LaBute

Cast: Julia Stiles, Marin Ireland, Jamie Anderson

Fed up with her relationship with a married man, a young woman decides to meet his wife for coffee.


Director: Jacob Chase

Cast: Sarah Paulson, Wes Bentley, Sam Cohen

A man and a woman have an awkward encounter at an indoor playground in this slice of life written by Neil LaBute.

Stars in Shorts hits limited theaters on September 28th.

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