Simon Kinberg and Neill Blomkamp to produce full-length THE LEVIATHAN feature

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It’s been four days since Kervyn told us about the incredible self-produced The Leviathan short, which director Ruairi Robinson said then was essentially a public movie pitch:

It’s a big gamble. I think the process of pitching is changing, and showing it to the public first has become a way of getting your toes wet to see if the public responds. If it catches on, it certainly helps. The safer, older route was just to show it privately to buyers, but then if it goes into development and never gets made, you’ve done a load of work that nobody will ever see, and it’s buried forever. So that’s what I wanted to avoid. I was always keen to have the teaser seen publicly.

With Hollywood seemingly stuck in a rut of remakes, reboots and sequels (rebooquels!) it can be challenging for new ideas (and to be fair the additional risk they entail for studios – see Jupiter Ascending) to receive attention. Well he should be happy because the public definitely caught on… with the three and a half minute video of the space whale racking up over 1.2 million views on Vimeo and a further 577 thousand on Youtube in just over a week. And now he’s even happier: Deadline are reporting that X-Men: Days of Future Past writer/producer Simon Kinberg wants to produce a feature-length movie based on the short. And he’s bringing along writer/director Neill Blomkamp, with whom he recently worked on Chappie (which we reviewed here, and noted for its visual flair like all his work).

Apparently a number of producers approached Robinson after the short was released but Kinberg’s interest in producing a feature made it a no-contest for the director. So that makes it a team consisting of director Ruairi Robinson, writer Jim Uhls (Fight Club), and producers Simon Kinberg and Neill Blomkamp. That doesn’t look too bad now does it? Sweetening the pot even more is the fact that Kinberg has a first-look deal with 20th Century Fox, so the potential for early studio backing is also there.

Online video sites like Youtube and Vimeo seem to be maturing, with quality content like this coming more and more to the fore in between people doing foolish things and even worse, cats (yes, I said it!). While established studios are entering this online space, where it excels is in allowing independent creators to express new ideas or creative takes on existing idea (with the risk of copyright take-downs) – see the recent Power/Ranger short, Spawn: The Recall or Punisher: Dirty Laundry for example. Along with streaming services like Netflix and Amazon producing their own original content, the digital space is shaking up the establishment, and that’s a good thing.

How do you feel about it?

Last Updated: March 24, 2015

Trevor Davies

I like pie, I think.

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