The English version of “Spheres,” an interactive journey inspired by the iconic “Pale Blue Dot” image of planet Earth, was narrated by Jessica Chastain, Patti Smith and Millie Bobby Brown. An episode of “Spheres” world premiered at Sundance – where the series was snapped up in a seven-figure deal – and a second one premiered at Tribeca, and all three episodes played in competition at the Venice Film Festival.
The French version of “Spheres” is being produced by Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel’s banner Protozoa and Paris-based Atlas V, with the support of France’s international tax rebate for international productions, and the region Auvergne Rhone-Alpes Cinéma.
It will mark the first step into VR for Birkin as well as Seydoux and Exarchopoulos, the Palme d’Or winning actresses of “Blue Is the Warmest Color.” Speaking to Variety, McNitt said the trio “represented three generations of women who embody the universe” and “help elevate this experience to become a piece of cinema.” “Each actress embodies the power and grace of the characters, and each has her own interpretation of the character they’re stepping into,” added McNitt, who is currently developing her first feature film.
McNitt said she has always been inspired by “The Little Prince” and had the desire, through “Spheres,” to “connect art and science with poetry.”
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Arnaud Colinart, Altas V’s co-founder and producer, said the high-profile French voice cast underscored Atlas V’s strategy to deliver local versions in select territories in order lure broad audiences.
The same strategy is being developed in Asia by City Lights, which represents “Spheres” in international markets. Atlas V has picked up French distribution rights to the French version, in collaboration with the Phi Center, and will aim at staging premium immersive events for “Spheres” in art centers and museums, such as the Rockfeller Center Exhibition, as well as upscale location-based venues.
In France, Altas V is partnering with the well-established French producer Anne-Dominique Toussaint (“Capernaum”) to host a private premiere of “Spheres” at Toussaint’s Gallerie Cinema, a Parisian art and photography gallery where many filmmakers, including James Franco, have hosted exhibits of their works. The premiere of the first two episodes of “Spheres” will inaugurate the Gallerie Cinema’s new VR space, along with several artists who will exhibit their space-themed creations. Toussaint said he was looking to build bridges between art, cinema and science through this new VR venue.
McNitt, who is currently in Paris for the inauguration, said she was particularly happy to have “Spheres” premiere at Toussaint’s gallery because it positions “Spheres” as a work of art, rather than a video game-type experience.