Back in November, we got our first look at Hardcore, the upcoming sci-fi action movie that unfolds from a first-person perspective and co-stars District 9 and Elysium actor Sharlto Copley. The first full trailer for the film debuted over the weekend ahead of its premiere screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, and director Ilya Naishuller’s feature certainly seems to justify its title.
Produced by Wanted and Night Watch director Timur Bekmambetov, the film was made entirely using head-mounted cameras that capture every moment from the point of view of Henry, a man who’s been resurrected from the dead by his scientist wife (The Equalizer‘s Haley Bennett) and turned into a near-indestructible cyborg.
Shortly after his return to the land of the living, however, Henry’s wife is kidnapped by a brutal psychopath with telekinetic powers (played by Vampire Academy‘s Danila Kozlovsky), forcing Henry to battle his way through a seemingly never-ending army of mercenaries to rescue her.
Naishuller first garnered attention for his 2013 short film Bad Motherf–ker, which followed its mysterious protagonist’s escape from an office building through crowds of armed guards, and his subsequent rooftop pursuit of a man carrying a mysterious, glowing device — all chronicled from the protagonist’s point of view. The film served as both a demonstration of Naishuller’s knack for storytelling using first-person perspective, and as a music video for his band, Biting Elbows. The five-minute film has been viewed more than 29 million times since it was first posted in March 2013.
Along with becoming a viral hit, the short film earned Naishuller the attention of Bekmambetov, who helped produce a full-length feature using the same first-person camera techniques that made Bad Motherf–ker so popular. That feature became Hardcore, and after crowd-funding some of the post-production work on the film, the feature had its debut screening at TIFF on September 12.
Filmed entirely in Russia and set in Moscow, the movie unfolds over the course of a single day. Along with Copley, Bennett, and Kozlovsky, the film features Andrey Dementiev, Dasha Charusa, and Sveta Ustinova in supporting roles.
Hardcore currently has no release date in U.S. theaters, but that could change if early screenings go over well. An online release is also a likely possibility. There should be more information released in the near future about where the full film will be screened.
For more information see the film’s official website.