Leslie Mann and Steve Carell star in Welcome to Marwen.
Photo: Universal
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The true story that inspired Welcome to Marwen is a harrowing one. A man was nearly beaten to death outside of a bar and lost most of his memories. During recovery, he used handmade dolls to create a fantasy world in his backyard and took photos to document its story. It’s a sad but interesting tale about the power of art on the human psyche—and now, in the hands of Oscar-winning filmmaker Robert Zemeckis, that story comes to life in a way you’d never imagine.

Welcome to Marwen stars Steve Carell as Mark Hogancamp, the man behind this world. In reality, Hogancamp documented his world in photos. In the movie, Zemeckis has brought it to life through special effects and the results are very surprising, as the first trailer shows. Check it out.

The film is based on a 2010 documentary called Marwencol, which itself is quite remarkable. However, this adaptation seems shocking ambitious and potentially risky because of the delicate balance between reality and fantasy. But if anyone can handle that, it’s Zemeckis.

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Welcome to Marwen co-stars Leslie Mann, Diane Kruger, Janelle Monáe, Eiza González, Gwendolyn Christie, and others. It opens November 21.