District 9 fans who’ve been missing Neill Blomkamp’s directorial style–whilst waiting for his Alien and Robocop sequels–can rejoice as Blomkamp and his Oats Studio are back with a live action short film–since rebranded as a trailer–tied to the release of Bioware’s upcoming online multiplayer action role-playing video game Anthem. Though it’s short on story the teaser is evocative as hell and will likely leave fans wanting more.
Though it’s only a couple of minutes long, it’s clear that a lot of work went into creating it, with the director telling Entertainment Weekly
“The amount of shooting time and how much imagery you have to actually capture into three minutes to make it feel legitimate is exponentially more work than you think it would be. I wrote two 10-page scripts, going off of the idea that a page is roughly a minute. I was proposing 20 minutes of footage, which was way beyond the budget scope we were dealing with. So I eventually condensed everything into one 10-page script and everyone was like, ‘Dude, it’s a three-minute piece. You can’t hand in a 10-page script.’ I was like, ‘No, it has to be 10 pages because we don’t know what’s gonna live and what’s gonna die in the edit room.’ We have to overshoot it in order to make it feel like a trailer so we can pick the best pieces. We can’t know that until the footage exists.”
The game itself is a mix of action role playing and third person shooter and revolves around a very anime trope: humans donning mech suits to fight stuff! In this cast those customizable suits are called Javelins, and they’re humanity’s last defense against mysterious and savage threats left behind by uncaring Gods. The short feels like more of a trailer for a larger movie than a singular short film. but as an atmosphere piece it’s pretty epic. You’ll be able to get your hands on Anthem on February 22, 2019.