James Kyson Lee, who is best known to sci-fi fans as faithful sidekick Ando in NBC's Heroes, told SCI FI Wire that he's got a raft of sci-fi films coming up, starting with the SCI FI Channel original movie Termination Shock, whose visual effects are shaping up nicely.
In the movie, Lee plays a space bandit assigned to ship a crate with his partner. When they open the crate, they find a girl with otherworldly powers. "I just saw some scenes from that yesterday, was doing some [looping] for it," Lee (Ando on NBC's Heroes) said in a phone interview last week. "It looks pretty good. With sci-fi movies, you just don't know, especially when they're adding all the visual effects and CGI. You just don't know how it's going to come out, but this one, I have a pretty good feeling about it. I'm kind of looking forward to seeing some of the creatures, because we shot the film last April in Bulgaria, which had so many different, interesting terrains. Some places really look like Mars. I was like, 'Where are we?' So I think it totally worked for the movie. Basically, they've spent about a year on post-production, putting together all the spaceships and the special effects. Those things take a while. It's hard stuff, and I'm excited to see it all put together."
Lee compared the film's tone to other classic SF films. "I play Lei Chen, and basically I'm one of the two leads," Lee said. "We are sort of space bandits. Think Han Solos. It's a fun movie, and if you like Star Wars, Fifth Element, Total Recall, it's got sort of those really fun, classical elements from all these sci-fi classics that you really enjoy. I believe SCI FI Channel will premiere it sometime in late May or in early June. I'm psyched. I'm hoping that it'll be one of those things that can have a cultish following, and people can enjoy it over and over on DVD and whatnot. I think it can be a really good movie."
Like the classic sci-fi heroes, Lee's character will find redemption from his criminal past. "I don't want to give away too much, but we definitely do redeem ourselves," he said.
Lee also co-stars in a horror film called Necrosis that may find a release next year. "I think it's more of a ghost story rather than sort of your gore horror," he said. "Think like The Shining or like The Grudge. It's more of that. It's more like a psychological kind of thing."
According to the film's official Web site, Necrosis finds six friends stranded in a cabin during a snowstorm. They find themselves haunted by what may be the spirits of the Donner party, or simply their own cabin fever.
"We filmed up in Tahoe," Lee said. "We were surrounded by 250 inches of snow, so that was a trip. I mean, we're talking like 8-foot-long icicles. Wow. The weather totally came through for the movie."
Finally, Lee is attached to a sci-fi film called The Roel, pronounced row-elle. He is waiting for the independent production to come together.
"We haven't started filming that yet, and I'm not exactly sure what's going on with the project," Lee said. "I know they also had Shalim [Ortiz], who was with us in the second season [of Heroes], attached. It'd be great if we get a chance to work together again. During Heroes we never filmed a scene together, but he is a great guy. Maybe it'll get going next year."
From what Lee knows so far, the film would involve creatures from other worlds, though in human form. "I know that my character, his name is Ansel," Lee said. "Think like Dune. So I think he's sort of a creature from another world, sort of an otherworldly being in human form. I don't know that much about the exact details of the film. That's pretty much all I know."