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First look: Agent Carter's James D'Arcy on being a 'luddite' in the dystopian sci-fi future of 'LX 2048'
Seemingly ripped straight out of today’s alarming headlines, a provocative new sci-fi flick titled LX 2048 and starring James D’Arcy (Marvel’s Agent Carter, Cloud Atlas, Dunkirk), Anna Brewster (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), and Delroy Lindo (Get Shorty, The Core) arrives in virtual cinemas and VOD Sept. 25 as an intriguing cautionary tale to be reckoned with — and SYFY WIRE has an exclusive clip to share.
Writer/director Guy Moshe (Bunraku, Monolith) delivers us into a dystopian 2048 where mankind has destroyed the ozone layer to a degree that most humans can’t venture outside during daylight hours and people’s nighttime routines are spent immersed in constant virtual reality realms. Depression has become so rampant that citizens are required to take the state-issued pill, LithiumX.
D’Arcy plays Adam Bird, a family man who vehemently resists this “new normal” plunge into artificial realities and whose heart condition forces desperate steps to ensure his children’s future. With an organ transplant unavailable, Adam is scheduled to be substituted with a cloned upgrade for his estranged wife as stated in his Premium 3 government insurance plan. Spiraling out of control, Adam struggles to find answers before his clone is sent to replace his existence.
SYFY WIRE spoke with D’Arcy on his performance in LX 2048 and its startling world of enhanced reality, cyber sex, cloning, and designer pharmaceuticals meant to control and reduce humanity down to a sad shadow of its former self.
"Guy’s script had some really interesting ideas, they were dystopian, but not, and put in a really interesting way with this upgraded clone version of you which was clever and funny in places," he tells SYFY WIRE. "I’m reading it and I get to the last 40 pages where it’s me and me, topless, quoting Hamlet to myself, and I thought that this is a narcissist’s wet dream. [Laughs.] We tried to streamline the ideas down, and we talked through what Guy’s vision was. And you don’t know with films like this. This could be wonderful. This is what independent movies are for, so you can explore this kind of stuff. It seemed like a really exciting thing to go do, and it was great fun to be a part of it."
Aligning with the film's futuristic content and themes, D’Arcy’s upbringing was filled with blockbuster sci-fi flicks and dreams of perhaps someday being an astronaut.
"The first movie I remember watching was The Empire Strikes Back, and my brain exploded because it felt like somebody had filmed my imagination, but only better!" he recalls. "I’m an '80s kid. Back to the Future, The Last Starfighter, and Disney’s The Black Hole. I loved space. I was going to be an astronaut, I was pretty certain of that. I had a big hardback book about space, and I turned a page and got my first paper cut at the age of 7. So I made an identification in my head that astronauting was very painful. I had to abandon my ideas of getting into a spaceship because it felt like it might hurt. The more thoughtful, dystopian sci-fi things came to me later in my life."
Check out our exclusive clip:
In many ways, D’Arcy believes his work in LX 2048 holds a mirror up to today’s virtual-leaning, climate crisis planet.
"When we made the movie there was this day when we were shooting with my kids all on VR sets, and I remember thinking I could see how that could happen," he adds. "Then five months later the kids went from being at school to being on their computers eight hours a day. Some of this stuff is prescient and super creepy. I’m not sure where we are with cloning, but you feel like it could happen. And knowing humans beings the way we do, if you had the opportunity to have another one of you that was a little bit better, that would catch on, that could be a thing!
"I’m a bit of a Luddite, so being Adam was not so difficult. I don’t take any pills, and I’m not very good with technology. And I look at the newspapers today and I think I don’t understand this world. Maybe other people are sitting at home and getting it. There have certainly been times when I’ve felt disconnected from the speed with which the world is changing. In that regard, Adam was not particularly difficult to find a way into. It’s difficult acting with yourself, because the opportunities to upstage yourself are too many. [Laughs.]
"In the end, it’s Guy’s movie, and I’m just there to serve his vision. This is an auteur kind of project, and you just want to lean into it."
LX 2048 will be available to rent or own Sept. 25th on Amazon, iTunes, Comcast, Spectrum, Dish, DirecTV, Vudu, and more in the U.S. and Canada.