Is the next film from the Matrix masterminds a futuristic tale of data archaelogists looking into the past? Is it a Gulf War II-set gay romance between a U.S. soldier and an Iraqi? Or is it both?
Cobalt Neural 9 is currently one of Hollywood's most closely guarded secrets. No one in the business knows very much about the $20 million film—agents aren't sure if their clients should try to audition, and studio players are being purposefully kept in the dark. Until now, the only information has come from Jesse Ventura and Arianna Huffington, who both appear in the cinema-verite-style film as commentators.
According to New York Magazine's Vulture blog, whose "spies" have read the screenplay:
"Part of the film takes place in the future all right -- nearly a hundred from now. But its main story is told in Cloverfield-esque flashbacks by digital archeologists sorting through 'found footage' from CNN and chips from old digital cameras from the U.S. occupation of Iraq. The heroes are indeed a gay American soldier named (with little irony) 'Butch' and an Iraqi soldier turned militant. Butch is endearing, young, and a ravishingly handsome Marine.
"The two meet while Butch is on a combat patrol in Iraq during the second Gulf War, and soon enough, the two are engaged in graphically described sex (actual line from the script: 'They rut like animals behind this fence') albeit while disguised in burqas. The two soldiers' relationship blossoms, and Butch begins to get to know his lover's family. But after he inadvertently draws attention to their ancestral home, disaster strikes. This tragedy radicalizes the pair and they become convinced that the only way to rid the world of evil is to kill the architect of the invasion, the then-president of the United States, George W. Bush."
And as for that titular phrase "Cobalt Neural 9"? Apparently it doesn't actually show up in the script, and may just be a smoke-screen title that will likely be changed.