Much as Neill Blomkamp’s short Alive in Joburg became the critically acclaimed District 9, Argentine director Frederico Heller is shopping around his sci-fi short Uncanny Valley (which was released online for the public earlier today) in hopes of selling it as a big-screen movie with the help of Independence Day: Resurgence script writer Carter Blanchard.
Blanchard has come on board Heller's project after catching the short film during a series of private screenings in L.A. over the last week, which managed to built some interest in the project, and is keen to pen the script IF he can manage to squeeze it into his busy schedule, which includes not only the new Independence Day movie, but also director Shawn Levy’s anti-superhero movie, Steelheart, based on a book trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. The plan is for Blanchard to develop Uncanny Valley's feature take in order to show investors.
At roughly 9 minutes, the short starts out a bit slow (and yeah, it's also very strange), but stick with it, guys, because when it kicks into gear, it becomes really gripping. Check it out:
Here is an excellent description of the sci-fi short (via Deadline):
Echoing themes seen in works like Ready Player One and All You Need Is Kill and inspired by the development of virtual reality platforms for consumers, Uncanny Valley explores the line between violent fantasies and antisocial behavior, the drudgery of poverty, and the exploitation of the poor in matters corporate and military. Set in a near-future dystopia, it follows the impoverished residents of a slum plagued by virtual reality addicts who earn a meager living playing violent games while serving as the workforce for real world wars. Sociopaths, wastrels, desperate or suicidal, they spend their days increasingly isolated and cared for, barely, by overworked social workers. The title comes from the term coined by robotics professor Masahiro Mori to describe the point at which something that looks very close to real, but not quite right, causes revulsion in observers rather than empathy.
The big-screen adaptation of Uncanny Valley is being developed as “part of a unique multimedia production that will see a series of innovative VR experiences made available via virtual reality platforms as the film nears release.” To illustrate this, the private screenings also included some proof-of-concept virtual reality demos inspired by the sci-fi short and available on the Oculus Rift headset.
What did you think of Uncanny Valley? Do you believe it would make for an interesting feature film?