Last week, we were among the first websites to enthusiastically write-up director Ruairí Robinson’s stunning sci-fi proof-of-concept short The Leviathan. Now, according to Deadline, prolific writer/producer Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Cinderella, “Star Wars Rebels”) has come on board to produce the film along with writer/director Neill Blomkamp (with whom Kinberg produced Elysium and Chappie) as executive producer.
That’s a fairly formidable team, apparently just a few of the big name producers who courted Robinson after The Leviathan blew up the internet with nearly 2 million views across Vimeo and YouTube, impressive for a project with no studio, name talent or IP attached to it.
Kinberg’s cache at both Fox and Lucasfilm increases the likelihood of Robinson’s project finding a studio home, which it will need considering the epic, effects-heavy nature of its 22nd century story of involuntarily drafted pilots who hunt giant whale-like flying creatures through the skies. Jim Uhls (Fight Club, Jumper) has already penned the screenplay.
Blomkamp (age 35) and Robinson (age 37) have very similar career trajectories in that they both come from effects/animation backgrounds. They were both attached to make their feature debut on major franchise tentpoles (Halo and Akira, respectively) before being cut loose by studios and diving into their own self-generated material based on shorts (District 9 and The Leviathan). Robinson did make one other feature previously, 2013’s low-budget sci-fi horror film The Last Days on Mars, starring Liev Schreiber, which only grossed $24 thousand dollars in the US.