Even today, more than two decades after filmmaker Alex Proyas’ Dark City was released in 1998, the film is considered a grossly underappreciated and underrated work of science fiction. While the film underperformed at the box office and ended up being a flop, it has since developed a cult following and inspired a legion of sci-fi films like The Matrix trilogy, Inception, and many others. While the film never saw a sequel at the time, its fans are all set to get another chance of experiencing its rich universe as Proyas has confirmed that a Dark City series is currently in development!
Alex Proyas recently debuted his short film, Mask of the Evil Apparition, at the Popcorn Frights Film Festival. The new short is a film exploring the concept of identity and is set in the same cinematic universe originally introduced by Proyas in Dark City. But this is certainly not the last time that Proyas will be visiting the world of Dark City. As reported by Bloody Disgusting, during the virtual presentation of the film, Proyas engaged in a chat with filmmaker Joe Lynch and apart from answering questions about his 1998 film, he revealed the big news of developing a Dark City series.
“Dark City right now is really an intriguing one to me because we’re developing a series, a Dark City Series,” Proyas shared.
He added that currently, the development of the Dark City series is in its initial stages. Even though the series is set in the same universe as the film and will certainly pick up elements from it, it won’t be a direct continuation of its plotline as Proyas has disclosed that he is constructing a new story for the series. But it does involve him going back to the 1998 film to differentiate the best parts from the ones that he didn’t think worked so he can map an even better storyline for the series.
His latest neo-noir science fiction short film is set in the same dark world that the filmmaker introduced in Dark City and follows a young woman, suffering from amnesia, exploring a deserted nocturnal city in search of something. But the problem is that she is not aware of what she is searching for. During her aimless journey, she encounters a woman in disguise and twin brothers. She is warned that the “Mysterious Ones,” a group of villainous clones, are hunting for her. Both the woman and the brothers offer to help her, but lost in a strange world, she finds it hard to decide who to trust.
Dark City introduced a fantastical world created by the Strangers, a group of extraterrestrials who have come from another galaxy and have nabbed a number of humans to experiment on them. As the Strangers’ own civilization is dying, they hope to decipher what makes a human tick and dissect their individuality, hoping to find what makes them so resilient and use it to ensure the survival of their own race. To keep the humans under their control, they fabricate an artificial city that can be “tuned” to suit the needs of their next experiment. Every night, they erase a person’s memories of the day prior and inject them with new memories to see whether their sense of self remains intact regardless of the new memories or if it gets affected. It remains to be seen whether the upcoming Dark City series will stick to this premise or will it follow the slightly altered version in Proyas’ latest short film.