By Scott T. Sterling

Imagine Dragons’ latest visual couldn’t be confined to the parameters of a traditional music video.

Instead, the Las Vegas rockers tapped renowned director Mark Pellington to craft a 12-minute short film to faithfully capture the band’s dream for the song “Next to Me.”

Related: Imagine Dragons and Maroon 5 Will Rock NCAA March Madness Festival

The harrowing visual opens with singer Dan Reynolds portraying a man who’s just been dumped by his fiancée, portrayed by his real-life wife, Aja Volkman. As he tries to pawn the engagement ring at a local pawnshop, he ends up killing the clerk (played by Imagine Dragons guitarist, Wayne Sermon) with a gun in a fit of rage.

After doing his time behind bars, Reynolds is released from prison and the song kicks in.

“I wrote this song about the strains of the relationships in my own life and the beauty of enduring love.  After late night conversations with Mark Pellington about life and his passion behind his vision for the film, we knew we wanted to take the journey with him,” said Reynolds in a prepared statement.  

“The film is a complex and slightly surreal fable about forgiveness and redemption. It is a story of a man, and a projection of one fantasy colliding with the dark realities of fate,” the director explained. “It asks, can a person who has made a terrible mistake ever be forgiven by their loved one or even by themselves. It is an ambitious music film, taking the traditional music video and breaking it apart, pushing it into film territory. I wanted to create something new, a narrative piece that was thematically complex and musical and I knew it needed to be longer.”

Watch Imagine Dragons’ new short film for “Next to Me” below.


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