Proof-of-concept teasers have become a popular tool for filmmakers looking to generate the buzz necessary to bring their sci-fi and fantasy projects to the big screen. Movies like District 9, Ant-Man, and the upcoming Deadpool have all benefitted from the hype created by a “leaked” teaser. Now, after earning a massive amount of buzz online with over 1.2 million views on Vimeo alone, short film The Leviathan hooked some big names who will transform the 4 minute sci-fi teaser into a full feature.
Reported by Deadline, X-Men writer and producer Simon Kinberg, and fellow teaser-creator Neill Blomkamp (Chappie, District 9) both became attached to the project in order to bring the story to the big screen. The report claims there was no shortage of big name Hollywood players lining up to help produce director Ruairí Robinson’s adventure, which imagines a future in which humans chase down massive “sky whales” for their energy-producing eggs.
However, Kinberg’s sci-fi clout, along with a first-look deal with Fox for production rights to the project, made the producer an easy choice to help make Robinson’s vision a fully-fleshed out reality. Other projects currently in the works for Kingberg include big name projects like Ridley Scott’s The Martian, and the reboot for The Fantastic Four. Blomkamp will also be in the loop as an executive producer.
Updated 3/27/2015: The Leviathan is now a go. Deadline reports that Fox has optioned the picture, buying Jim Uhl’s spec script for seven figures. And the whole family is involved. Robinson will direct, Kinberg will be on board to produce the film, and Blomkamp will come along as executive producer. Apart from the financial details, the real news here is that The Leviathan will hit the big screen in full-feature form.
Clocking in at just under four minutes, The Leviathan is packed with impressive visual effects and an intimidating creature that evokes images of the Sandworms of Dune, while the storyline samples liberally from the themes of Frank Herbert’s aforementioned sci-fi saga, as well as from Melville’s Moby Dick.
Oscar-nominated director Ruairí Robinson (Fifty Percent Grey, The Last Days on Mars) worked with screenwriter Jim Uhls (Fight Club, Jumper) to help create an enticing snapshot of what the film could look like with major studio backing as a full-length feature. And it appears the gamble has worked to plan.
Robinson also released some concept art for the project created by Jim Murray and based on a design by Avatar creature designer Jordu Schell.
Concept art by Jim Murray (creature design by Jordu Schell) pic.twitter.com/yN5F2WTGXn
— Ruairi Robinson (@RuairiRobinson) March 17, 2015
Here’s the introduction to the teaser that precedes the footage:
“By the early 22nd century mankind had colonized many worlds. Faster than light travel was made possible by harvesting exotic matter from the eggs of the largest species mankind has ever seen. Those that take part in the hunt are mostly involuntary labor.”
There’s currently no more info on the project, but if the teaser is any indicator, there could be a very interesting sci-fi blockbuster coming our way in the near future.
Updated by 3/23/15 by Ryan Waniata: Robinson’s short film got the attention of Kinberg and Blomkamp, who will help bring the story to the big screen as a full feature.