We got our first look at Richard Linklater’s Bernie in the spring last year, which sees him reuniting with Jack Black after making School of Rock together. It’s received some slightly mixed reviews after screenings at various film festivals, but all seem to suggest that Black is doing some of his best work in years, so it sounds like it has potential.

The first trailer and poster for the film have now surfaced online, courtesy of Yahoo Movies and IMP Awards respectively.

“In the tiny, rural town of Carthage, TX, assistant funeral director Bernie Tiede was one of the town’s most beloved residents. He taught Sunday school, sang in the church choir and was always willing to lend a helping hand. Everyone loved and appreciated Bernie, so it came as no surprise when he befriended Marjorie Nugent, an affluent widow who was as well known for her sour attitude as her fortune. Bernie frequently travelled with Marjorie and even managed her banking affairs. Marjorie quickly became fully dependant on Bernie and his generosity and Bernie struggled to meet her increasing demands. Bernie continued to handle her affairs, and the townspeople went months without seeing Marjorie. The people of Carthage were shocked when it was reported that Marjorie Nugent had been dead for some time, and Bernie Tiede was being charged with the murder.”

Based on a true story (the true story (via the ol’ Wikipedia) sounding much, much darker than this trailer makes out), the film also stars the brilliant Matthew McConaughey, who’s been transformed almost out of recognition, and Shirley MacLaine, with Linklater co-writing the script with Skip Hollandsworth, who makes his feature debut with this.

Millennium Entertainment have picked the film up for US distribution, where it’s set to be released on 27th April (a week before the States get The Avengers, which might not bode all that well for Bernie’s successive weeks at the box office). No word on when we’ll be getting it here in the UK, but with Black being praised for his performance, hopefully we’ll be seeing it in cinemas too to judge for ourselves. As usual with this first poster, you can click to enlarge.