'Backspot' trailer has us so PUMPED for this intense queer cheer competition film

Devery Jacobs; Evan Rachel Wood
Devery Jacobs; Evan Rachel Wood

A new cheerleading movie is on its way to theaters, with queer representation in front of and behind the camera. And it looks good.

First announced in late 2022, Backspot follows Riley (Devery Jacobs) as she and her girlfriend (Kudakwashe Rutendo) join a professional competitive cheerleading team led by a strict and demanding coach (Evan Rachel Wood). The film premiered at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival and made a splash at SXSW earlier this year.

It's immediately apparent from the trailer that this isn't going to be another Bring It On. While the enduring and beloved classic certainly shed light on how serious cheerleading competitions can be and the athleticism the sport requires, Backspot takes a much more dramatic approach.

"If you want to survive in this world, you can't show pain, or fear," Wood's character says over clips of injuries and tears. "This world is not kind to weak people."

Wood's turn as a borderline sadistic coach is definitely going to do something for her diehard queer following. But this is ultimately Jacobs' movie, and even just from the trailer, it's impressive to know she did all but one of her own stunts in the film.

"For months leading up to the shooting, I trained in open gymnastics, learned how to backspot and cheerlead, did personal training, physiotherapy, yoga, and stretched every day to get my splits back," the Reservation Dogs star, who is a former regional champion gymnast herself, told Entertainment Weekly. "Because it was actually me doing all my own stunts, I knew we couldn’t afford to get injured, so I wanted to make sure I took the best care of myself and was ready to take on the physical challenge of playing Riley."

Jacobs came up with the idea for the film along with director and co-writer D.W. Waterson back in 2017. They put together a short film the same year but struggled to find funding for a feature-length version until Elliot Page came on board.

"Elliot really stood behind us and not only championed us and helped open doors, but then also gave us a lot of freedom," Jacobs previously told Collider.

Backspot also stars Shannyn Sossamon, Thomas Antony Olajide, Wendy Crewson, and Noa DiBerto and was co-written by Joanne Sarazen. It hits theaters on May 31, but you can get pumped up for it by checking out the trailer below.


Backspot | Official Trailer | levelFILM