The Most Controversial Movie of 2024 Starring Jenna Ortega is Out in January

The Most Controversial Movie of 2024 Starring Jenna Ortega is Out in January
Image credit: Lionsgate Films

Thought Scream was problematic? Then take a look at this upcoming release!


  • 2024 will kick off with the release of an upcoming psychological thriller starring Jenna Ortega and Martin Freeman.
  • The film is called Miller's Girl and will focus on the twisted relationship between a teacher and his student.
  • Although Miller's Girl hasn't even been released yet, the themes it explores have polarized the public.

As the years go by, popular young actors grow up and take on more sophisticated and darker roles, forever pushing back against the innocent images the media used to create. Such is the case with Jenna Ortega. After first gaining worldwide fame thanks to a fairly innocent role in Disney 's Stuck in the Middle, the rising Hollywood star quickly jumped into much more mature projects, including Netflix 's You, and then became the new scream queen (yes, pun intended).

Not one to shy away from controversial roles, Ortega stars opposite Martin Freeman in the new psychological thriller Miller's Girl, which explores the taboo subject of love between a professor and his student. Will 2024 begin with a smash hit, adding to the track record of both stars, or is it destined to be a complete failure due to public outrage?

What Is the Upcoming Movie With Jenna Ortega and Martin Freeman About?

Miller's Girl is the brainchild of Jade Halley Bartlett, who wrote the screenplay and directed the film. The rights to the script were acquired by Point Grey Pictures, a company owned by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who also served as producers. It's quite possible that after reading the script, their creative intuition sensed a hit on the way. Only the plot may prove too problematic.

The film tells the story of Professor Jonathan Miller, played by Freeman, who befriends his student Cairo Sweet, played by Ortega, as part of a creative writing assignment. He finds himself admiring her reading and writing skills, seemingly suppressing the feelings that are simmering deep inside. On the contrary, Cairo doesn't hide her feelings (if she hides them at all), and when her teacher tries to stop her by threatening to expel her, she does everything she can to get her way, including blackmail, which could destroy not only Miller's academic career, but her entire life.

According to the trailer, Ortega's character is only 18 years old, which is close to her actual age of 21. Freeman's character's age is not revealed, but it is likely the same as the actor's real age, which is now 52 (i.e., 31 years apart from Ortega). This moment may be too triggering for some, but Bartlett seems ready to provide no shortage of twists and condemnations of this type of relationship.

The Movie Stirred Controversy Even Before Its Release

Although the script promises to be quite self-aware, the public is already appalled at the realization of how inappropriate this kind of relationship is. It's no secret that the Academy ethically forbids relationships between students, and the reasons are obvious. But does it add any value to put something like that on the big screen when we all understand how inappropriate such a relationship is?

The other complaint was who would be in the position of the victim, since everything points to Miller. Since he'll be facing blackmail, the movie will obviously deal with the issue of false accusations, one of the most controversial topics of our time. Not everyone is sure how appropriate it is to make a young student the 'villain', considering how many horrible situations there have been where teachers have literally manipulated students. However, we should not jump to conclusions, as the movie promises more than a few dark and startling plot twists, so we have yet to find out who the real victim is.

The film will premiere in less than a month, on January 11, 2024, at the Palm Springs Film Festival. Miller's Girl will then be released in US theaters by Lionsgate two weeks later on January 26, 2024.