Morning: Benedict Cumberbatch And Laura Dern To Star In Futuristic Sci-Fi Movie From The Director Of Assassin's Creed

This upcoming project is a strong contender for the virtual European Film Market (EFM): Benedict Cumberbatch and Laura Dern have joined the futuristic sci-fi film, "Morning," which boasts big-league actors alongside a solid dystopian storyline. According to Variety, "Assassins Creed" director Justin Kurzel will be helming this project, which is set to be launched by film distributor HanWay. Apart from Dern and Cumberbatch, Noah Jupe, who starred in the "A Quiet Place" films and "Honey Boy," has also joined the cast.

Both Dern and Cumberbatch are set executive produce "Morning," and while the exact details about the plot are scant, Cumberbatch is expected to take on a smaller, supporting role. This is interesting, to say the least, given that he will soon be resuming his titular role in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," and recently gave a groundbreaking central performance in Jane Campion's "The Power of the Dog." Cumberbatch and Dern will be executive-producing alongside Jayme Lemons, via Jaywalker Pictures.

No Sleep For Those Who Dare To Dream

"Morning" is set in the near future, in which society has invented a pill that makes one forgo the need to sleep. Due to the presence of an artificial sun that guarantees perpetual daylight, work and productivity are expected to function round-the-clock, but a younger, sleep-deprived generation rebels against the system, reclaiming their right to dream. The concept of a sleepless future is, however, not new, as it has been explored in much detail in Nancy Kress' 1993 novel, "Beggars in Spain," in which genetic modifications lead to the existence of the "sleepless," believed to hold greater potential for intelligence as opposed to ordinary humans, which makes for the novel's core conflict. The effects of sleeplessness within the mold of meeting societal expectations of self-worth and productivity have also been explored in the 2021 Thai sci-fi film "Deep."

Kurzel will be reunited with several of his previous collaborators who worked with him on the set of "The Snowtown Murders" and "Macbeth," including cinematographer Adam Arkapaw and BAFTA-nominated designer Alice Babidge, who worked with Kurzel in "Nitram." Film producer Adam Ackland praised the basic premise of "Morning" and the excitement surrounding filming:

"Morning is a joyful, reflective, and defiant story about a reality not so far from our own where a preoccupation with productivity has destroyed our ability to connect, grieve and love. We cannot wait to see this incredibly talented cast and creative team headed by Justin, Laura, and Noah bring Sam's brilliantly original script to life."

Per Deadline, HanWay Films MD, Gabrielle Stewart, also commented on the core themes that drive the story:

"Morning asks so many questions of us as people with ambitions, hopes, emotions, and dreams, and it is fascinating to debate what sleep means to our very existence and our souls. What would we be like if we had never dreamt? It also contains the spirit of youth rebelling against the choices of their parents. Morning provokes, moves, entices... and it has an amazing team behind it."

A start date and shoot location for "Morning" is yet to be finalized.