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Netflix Drops Trailer for New Dave Chappelle Special ‘The Dreamer’

Netflix has released the first trailer for Dave Chappelle‘s much-anticipated new comedy special The Dreamer and arrives with an audibly familiar tone. The new special, Chappelle’s first since 2021’s The Closer again sees Chappelle join forces with screen legend Morgan Freeman, who lends his exquisite voice and physicality to the trailer.

“What do you dream about?” Freeman ponders in the clip, which was uploaded on Tuesday. “Not the dreams you have in your sleep, the ones you hold in your heart. Don’t be intimidated by the audacity of your dream — be inspired by it. What happens to a dream deferred? Lucky for Dave, he doesn’t know.”

Dave Chappelle and Morgan Freeman in 'The Dreamer' (2023) | Image: Netflix
Dave Chappelle and Morgan Freeman in ‘The Dreamer’ (2023) | Image: Netflix

Set to premiere on the streaming platform on December 31, The Dreamer marks the sixth collaboration between Chappelle and Netflix, following the critically acclaimed Sticks & Stones and Equanimity & The Bird Revelation, however, his recent work has been marred by controversy. His 2021 hit The Closer was widely condemned for being transphobic, with The National Black Justice Coalition even going so far as to call on Netflix to remove the special.

“It is deeply disappointing that Netflix allowed Dave Chappelle’s lazy and hostile transphobia and homophobia to air on its platform,” NBJC executive director David Johns said in a statement to Deadline at the time. “With 2021 on track to be the deadliest year on record for transgender people in the United States — the majority of whom are Black transgender people — Netflix should know better. Perpetuating transphobia perpetuates violence. Netflix should immediately pull The Closer from its platform and directly apologise to the transgender community.”

Dave Chappelle in 'The Dreamer' (2023) | Image: Netflix
Dave Chappelle in ‘The Dreamer’ (2023) | Image: Netflix

While the trailer for The Dreamer stops short of revealing too much about the content, it does suggest a few changes are on the way. This time around, Chappelle is seemingly returning to his roots, both metaphorically and literally. The Dreamer was filmed in the comedian’s hometown of Washington DC at the historic Lincoln Theatre, marking somewhat of a full-circle moment for Chappelle.

Dave Chappelle’s The Dreamer will premiere on Netflix on December 31. It is directed by long-time collaborator and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Stan Lathan, who previously worked on all of Chappelle’s Netflix specials.