Alejandro G. Inarritu VR movie

Academy Award-winning director Alejandro G. Iñárritu (The Revenant, Birdman, Babel) has announced that he is partnering with Legendary Entertainment and Fondazione Prada to create a virtual reality film. Hit the jump for the details on the Alejandro G. Inarritu VR movie.

After four years of development, two-time Academy Award-winning director Alejandro G. Iñárritu is commencing work on an experimental short virtual reality film to be produced and financed by Legendary Entertainment and Fondazione Prada. ILMxLAB, Lucasfilm’s recently established Immersive Entertainment division, will build the virtual world and characters. We’ve chronicled some of ILMxLab’s early projects including the recent announcement that David Goyer is making a Darth Vader VR story.

We don’t know much about the Alejandro G. Inarritu VR movie:

  • It will be a short experimental virtual reality film.
  • Three-time Oscar-winning cinematographer and Inarritu frequent collaborator Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity, Birdman, Tree of Life) is working on the film.
  • The immersive story is described as “a space narrative,” exploring the “intense and excruciating experience of a group of immigrants and refugees crossing the border between Mexico and the United States.”
  • We know Legendary Entertainment as the owner of Legendary Pictures, which produced the Dark Knight trilogy and Warcraft.
  • You probably don’t know Fondazione Prada. They are an institution devoted to art and culture created by Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli with the aim of experimenting new grounds of confrontation on visual languages; it has presented shows by international artists, philosophy conferences, research exhibitions and performing arts projects.  Iñárritu previously teamed with them to curate “Flesh, Mind, and Spirit”, a film festival presented in Seoul in 2009 and in its Milan headquarters in 2016.

babel
I’m a huge fan of Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s work, especially his earlier films. I just revisited Babel a couple of weeks ago, which doesn’t get nearly enough respect for the masterwork that it is. That movie also had a story that delved into the issue of immigrants crossing the border between Mexico and the United States, so this is certainly a topic that he will continue to explore.

It’s interesting that we are now seeing bigger name filmmakers like Jon Favreau and Alejandro G. Iñárritu doing projects for the VR medium. I still don’t believe that VR will be a medium for narrative films, but instead more interactive stories like video games.

We have talked about IMAX’s plans to install VR movie theaters into their cinemas, up charging customers to step into the world of the movie they just experienced on the big screen. I’m not sure that plan will be successful, but as VR technology begins to infiltrate our homes via Oculus and Playstation, there will be a larger marketplace for such experiences. I think the big problem is that it will take a half-dozen of years for VR to infiltrate enough homes (if it ever does reach “mainstream” status) to make the medium a viable place for big budget movie productions. But it seems like auteur filmmakers are attracted to creating something in the medium, and as long as they can find backing it could result in some very interesting art.

But it seems like auteur filmmakers are attracted to creating something in the medium, and as long as they can find backing it could result in some very interesting art. It seems like this kind of experimental film would be perfect for Sundance’s annual New Frontier exhibition.

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