We make fun of James Franco an awful lot on the internet — remember his short-lived flirtation with a Blood Meridian adaptation before it turned out he never had the rights to the movie? — but credit where it is due: Franco isn’t afraid to lend his celebrity to some pretty challenging subject matter. And after checking out the first trailer for Goat, I think it’s safe to say that Franco’s intentions as both actor and producer were well-placed on this one.

The film is based on author Brad Land’s 2015 book Goat: A Memoir, which tells the true story of how Land overcame a personal tragedy to follow in his brother’s footsteps and pledge a fraternity at Clemson University. When Land discovers the depths upperclassmen will go to haze their new pledges, however, he finds himself flashing back to his own personal trauma, and must decide how far he is willing to go to be part of the campus elite.

Goat premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival to mostly positive reviews. By most accounts, the film shines a light on an ugly part of the college experience without overreaching to make its point. This first trailer suggests a film that lives in the moments typically found in a college movie montage: the shots of people being harassed or vomiting are given their proper context here, and audiences are forced to see the trauma and exhaustion that most comedies skip over in the name of brevity.

As Variety reported back in January, Paramount Pictures will release the film theatrically, but MTV gets first crack at the television window. Goat seems like a good match for MTV, who in recent years seem to be interested in documenting the more realistic challenges and insecurities faced by modern teens. If nothing else, its viewers should appreciate the opportunity to see Nick Jonas show off his chops as a legitimate actor.

You can read the full plot synopsis here:

Reeling from a terrifying assault, a 19 year-old boy enrolls into college with his brother and pledges the same fraternity. What happens there, in the name of “brotherhood” tests the boy and his loyalty to his brother in brutal ways.

Goat will be released in select theaters on September 23, 2016.

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