'On the Basis of Sex' Trailer: Felicity Jones Takes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The Focus Features and Participant Media drama, directed by Mimi Leder from a script by Daniel Stiepleman, also stars Armie Hammer, Justin Theroux, Kathy Bates and Sam Waterston.

Felicity Jones has debuted her take on Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the first trailer for the biopic On the Basis of Sex, set to hit theaters later this year.

The Focus Features and Participant Media drama, directed by Mimi Leder from a script by Daniel Stiepleman, also stars Armie Hammer, Justin Theroux, Kathy Bates and Sam Waterston.

On the Basis of Sex follows Bader Ginsburg as she fights for gender equality. The film highlights the many obstacles she had to overcome before ultimately becoming a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

The trailer, which opens with Bader Ginsburg as the only woman walking through a crowd of men, follows her as she challenges laws that treat men and women unequally and faces her own instances of sexism.

"If the law differentiates on the basis of sex, then how will women and men ever become equals?" she asks in a voiceover while working at her home office. 

The preview then shows her taking on what would become a landmark gender discrimination case before the U.S. Court of Appeals. When she reads it, she says, "The law assumes a caregiver has to be a woman. This is sex-based discrimination against a man."

When Bader Ginsburg makes it clear that she wants to be a part of the case, she is told by many powerful men that gender equality is not a civil right and that she is putting the security of the American family at stake. "You will lose and when you do, you will set the women's movement back ten years," says Mel Wulf (Theroux).

Following backlash from many men, including powerful attorney Erwin Griswold (Waterston), the case begins to take a toll of the Ginsburgs' family life. "I know this case disrupted our lives," Bader Ginsburg later tells her family. Her daughter Jane (Cailee Spaeny) responds, "Who was it for if not for me?"

The trailer comes to a close as Bader Ginsburg appears in court. When standing in front of the judges, Bader Ginsburg states, "We're not asking you to change the county. That's already happened without any court's permission." A montage of girls studying, as well as Bader Ginsburg's personal life, then airs.

Another scene in court shows a judge saying, "The word 'woman' does not appear even once in the U.S. Constitution." Bader Ginsburg responds, "Nor does the word 'freedom,' your honor."

While Felicity Jones was ultimately cast to play Bader Ginsburg, Natalie Portman was originally considered for the role. On the Basis of Sex follows Julie Cohen and Betsy West's Bader Ginsburg documentary, RBG, which became a box-office force this summer.

On the Basis of Sex will be released in theaters on Dec. 25.

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