×

Hugo Weaving to Star in VR Feature Film ‘Lone Wolf’

Hugo Weaving, who previously starred in technology trend-setting film “The Matrix,” will head the cast of full-length virtual reality feature “Lone Wolf.” He is joined by “Hotel Mumbai” actress Tilda Cobham-Hervey.

The Australian film is to be directed by Jonathan Ogilvie (“The Tender Hook,” “Jet Set,” “Emulsion”) as a modern-day adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s 1907 novel “The Secret Agent.” Exploring themes of fanaticism and terrorism, the story involves a cluster of anarchists, one of whom is also a police informant, who receive a proposal to attack the Sydney Opera House. Weaving plays a police minister involved in the conspiracy, with Cobham-Hervey as one of the cell members.

The film is set to go into production later this year after completing funding of its $2 million budget. Executive producer is Lee Hubber. An Australian theatrical release in 2019 is set through distributor Label. International sales are to be handled by Level K, a Danish sales firm which has previously represented other Australian film titles.

“This is an incredibly timely story. A film shot entirely as surveillance in objective and POV mode — the character of Stevie incessantly films everything on his phone — plays on our conflicted collective concerns regarding surveillance, i.e. the loss of personal privacy vs. the sense of security in having someone watch over us,” said Ogilvie.

He intends to deliver a 2D and a full-length VR version, allowing the film to claim the title of the world’s first VR feature movie. The production will use a cluster of lenses to deliver the VR effect, which will create a 3D 200-degree viewing environment that can be accessed through generic smartphone-mounted headsets.

Ogilvie says that Anthony Kierann, GM of festivals and Australian cinema programs at exhibition chain Event Cinemas, has expressed interest in showing both 2D and VR versions of the film. He envisages creating pop-up events in a theatrical environment. Ogilvie and Hubber are also in discussions with Lens Immersive with a view of online VR distribution in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong and mainland China.

With the backing of arts and disability organisation Accessible Arts the production is committed to casting an actor with a disability in the role of Stevie. “Casting a non-disabled actor in a disabled role may have won Oscars in past but in the quest for diversity and authenticity on screen it is time to identify this practice for what it is — the equivalent of performing in ‘black-face,'” Ogilvie said.

POPULAR ON VARIETY:

More Film

  • Rob Schneider'The Week Of' film premiere,

    Film News Roundup: Rob Schneider Wins SAG-AFTRA National Board Seat

    In today’s film news roundup, Rob Schneider wins a SAG-AFTRA board seat; “Badland,” “Sorry We Missed You” and “Extracurricular” find homes; and “The Shawshank Redemption” gets a re-release.  SAG-AFTRA Rob Schneider has won a SAG-AFTRA national board seat as a member of presidential candidate Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate. Schneider won a four-year term [...]

  • This photo shows actor David Oyelowo

    David Oyelowo Joins George Clooney in 'Good Morning, Midnight' Adaptation (EXCLUSIVE)

    David Oyelowo is in final negotiations to join George Clooney in Netflix’s untitled adaptation of Lily Brooks-Dalton’s 2016 novel “Good Morning, Midnight,” sources tell Variety. Felicity Jones and Kyle Chandler are also on board, with Clooney set to helm the pic — his first feature film directing gig since 2017’s “Suburbicon.” “The Revenant” screenwriter Mark [...]

  • Disney Delays 'Cruella,' 'Woman in the

    Disney Delays 'Cruella,' 'Woman in the Window'

    Disney is shaking up its release calendar, delaying its live action “Cruella” until Memorial Day 2021 and pushing Fox 2000 drama “The Woman in the Window” to 2020. “Cruella,” starring Emma Stone, is based on the classic “101 Dalmatians” villain Cruella de Vil. The revisit to Disney’s animated classic was originally set to hit theaters [...]

  • Spider-Man Could Leave the Marvel Cinematic

    Spider-Man Could Leave MCU if Disney, Sony Can't Reach Financing Deal

    Disney’s Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures have hit an impasse on new financing terms for upcoming Spider-Man movies, sources have told Variety. If a deal cannot be reached, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige will not produce future Spider-Man films, effectively removing Tom Holland’s Spider-Man from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Reps for Disney, Marvel and Sony [...]

  • Australia Makes Progress on Gender Equality

    Australia Makes Progress on Gender Equality in Film and TV

    Screen Australia, Australia’s federal film and TV funding body, has made sufficient progress in furthering gender equality that it has set more ambitious targets. The organization has exceeded its long-term Gender Matters key performance indicator, with 56% of projects receiving production funding having at least half of the key creative roles occupied by women, based [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content