Oh, the internet. It’s shaking up Hollywood’s distribution methods. Last week Ruairí Robinson, an Oscar-nominated director for the short film Fifty Percent Grey, released a proof-of-concept trailer for an ambitious sci-fi project called The Leviathan. The project has been called a weird hybrid of Jaws and Alien. With the help of the Irish Film Board/Bord Scannán na hÉireann, Robinson and his screenwriting partner Jim Uhls, the writer of Fight Club, raised enough dough to create the teaser. With more than two million views, the trailer generated enough interest from the World Wide Web that some notable filmmakers caught word of the project. Now it appears the giant space whale flick is heading to the silver screen.
Word has it that producer/writer Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past) and director/writer Neil Blomkamp (District 9) have taken up the project as producers. Set in the 22nd century, the film centers around the search for a new space species for harvesting purposes. Mankind, which has now colonized many worlds due to the use of faster than light travel, must collect exotic material from the eggs of the leviathan in order to continue their new means of transportation. It all sounds like a nightmarish, futuristic episode of Deadliest Catch. The whole concept has been said to be taking its literary cues from Moby Dick and Dune.
It’s refreshing to see a talent such as Blomkamp backing such a low-key project considering his recent string of successes. We don’t expect the director to be to hands-on with the film considering that big Alien movie we keep hearing so much about. Although his name should attract some attention, we predict the director will step aside on this one, relinquishing full creative control to Robinson and Uhls. From the trailer, that’s one decision we could get behind. The budget on the project is a different story. Funding for such a movie in which there is no original IP or fanbase is risky for any investor. More than likely, costs on such a film will be scaled back. But with Blomkamp in his corner, a director who has proven he knows how to stretch a dollar to great effect, we’re not losing hope that the final product will be just as visionary as the three and a half minute trailer.