The first official trailer for that upcoming CGI flick Heavenly Sword, starring Fringe’s Anna Torv, is finally here! So is it any kind of heavenly?
Actually, we think it looks pretty darn decent.
For those of you lay peeps not into gaming, Heavenly Sword was a hack-and-slash game developed by Ninja Theory and launched six years ago with the PlayStation 3. It starred Anna Torv as the game’s heroine, the flaming red-haired Nariko, and Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit) as the villainous King Bohan (now played by Alfred Molina, since Serkis was not available for the flick).
The film began as a trial thingie between Sony and Blockade Entertainment, and Heavenly Sword apparently started to make some waves at the Cannes film festival before securing distribution for a June 2014 release at the American Film Market.
Brad Foxhoven, one of Heavenly Sword’s producers, explained how the movie came about:
The film initially began as a production experiment between Blockade and Sony. The objective was to use existing video game assets and development materials, along with various game pipeline techniques, to produce a feature length film. By capitalizing on the enhanced production efficiencies, the additional resources and investment could then be placed on the actual production itself. The result would be a smaller-budgeted film that would look and feel like a much more expensive production. It just happened that we loved Heavenly Sword, and Sony agreed to allow us to work with the franchise.
David Wohl, the other executive producer, added the hows and the whys this particular property appealed to them:
The story and characters. For a video game franchise, Sony and Ninja Theory did an amazing job at creating a wonderful set of characters and a compelling storyline. Additionally they made a beautiful-looking game with the help of Andy Serkis and the WETA team. This allowed us to hit the ground running.
As for the voice acting for Heavenly Sword, Foxhoven said:
We wanted Anna Torv back – it was a must. When she was cast for the game and recorded her part, she wasn't as much of a well-known actress. Following the game's release, she starred on the hit television series, Fringe. So, of course, we were concerned that she could be too busy to reprise her role as Nariko, or just wouldn't want to do it. Thankfully she said yes.
Our next challenge was Andy Serkis, who not only directed the game's cinematics, but also played King Bohan in the game. He wasn't available when we were making the film, so our challenge was how to replace him? Fortunately we were able to bring Alfred Molina aboard. His version of King Bohan was great, and we think the fans will enjoy his take on the character.
Finally, we were able to get Thomas Jane to come in to play Loki, a new and pivotal character in the film. The rest of the cast, including Nolan North and Barry Dennen were already friends of ours – and were exceptionally talented actors in their own rights. This was vital since we needed the two of them to play several key roles.
All in all, the animation is nothing too extraordinary (we've seen better), but the storyline is really fun and interesting and we think that the voice acting is what will probably elevate this flick.
What about you guys? What did you think of the trailer? Will this be a must-see for you?