Eva Longoria has just signed on to join Ice Cube and Hunters’ Henry Hunter Hall in what is being called a grounded sci-fi film in the vein of District 9.
Deadline broke the news of Eva Longoria’s addition to the cast, which is being made by Universal, and will be produced by Patrick Aiello (As Above, So Below) and Timur Bekmambetov, who directed Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. The film will be written by Kenneth Golde and will be the directorial debut of Rich Lee, who formerly did visual effects work for Minority Report and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, and has directed music videos for artists like Eminem, Lana Del Rey, and Billie Eilish.
While little is known about this upcoming Eva Longoria and Ice Cube film, it is said to be a realistic sci-fi film that will discuss themes of privacy versus surveillance. Universal is planning on beginning production this month.
Probably the most fascinating thing we know about this unnamed Eva Longoria and Ice Cube film is the technology used to make it. Bekmambetov previously produced such films as 2015’s Unfriended, 2018’s Searching and Unfriended: Dark Web. These films were told entirely through computer screens, and Bekmambetov is hoping to utilize this same technology in this latest film.
Earlier this year, Bekmambetov set up a five-picture deal with Universal – of which this Eva Longoria-Ice Cube film would be included – all of which would be made on this format known as “Screenlife.” This technology allows for stories to be told from the point-of-view of computers or phones, much like was done with Searching and the Unfriended series. This new way of filming was already an intriguing concept, but given the limitations of the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of making new films, this seems like an interesting new exploration.
Back in March, Bekmambetov was already exploring new technical challenges, as he was working on V2. Escape from Hell, a war blockbuster shot completely in vertical format. Bekmambetov’s playing around with new technologies likely means that this new Eva Longoria and Ice Cube film can mostly be shot from their homes and apart from each other. It will also be interesting to see how Bekmambetov tells a science-fiction story through computers, phones, or maybe some other futuristic technology.
Bekmambetov said about the process, “It’s a very organic production process, and what we learned in the past few months is we are the only production technology allowing us to work during the restrictions. Bekmambetov continued, “My actor is in London and I can record his screen from Los Angeles, and he can act and communicate with another actor who is in Sydney, in front of the screen.” Seems like a fascinating way to tell a science-fiction story, and to keep actors like Eva Longoria and Ice Cube safe during the pandemic.
Eva Longoria already has quite a few projects coming out in the near future. After debuting earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, Sylvie’s Love, starring Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha, will be making its debut on December 25, 2020, on Amazon Prime Video. Eva Longoria has also filmed a part in Jamie Fox’s directorial debut, All-Star Weekend, also starring Foxx and Jeremy Piven. Finally, Eva Longoria will be joining The Boss Baby franchise in The Boss Baby: Family Business, scheduled for release on March 26, 2021.
In addition to appearing in this year’s Dakota Fanning-starring film, The High Note, Ice Cube also has one new project on the way. Ice Cube will appear in the sports biopic Flint Strong, which marks the directorial debut of Oscar-nominated cinematographer Rachel Morrison. Ice Cube is also supposedly working on Last Friday, the fourth installment in his Friday series, which he will also be producing and writing. However, Ice Cube has said that the project is currently on hold, due to the death of John Witherspoon.
Joining Eva Longoria and Ice Cube is relative newcomer Henry Hunter Hall, who has had a string of great roles in recent years. In just the last two years, Hall has appeared in Selah and the Spades, the Emmy-winning Netflix drama When They See Us, Harriet – which was directed by Hall’s mother, Kasi Lemmons – and the Amazon Prime Series, Hunters.
Especially with big stars like Eva Longoria and Ice Cube lined up for this compelling new type of sci-fi story, it will be interesting to see if this new technology takes off, and if it could be the future of filmmaking – for the time being, at least. The Unfriended films and Searching were both successes, so it’s great to see this new type of filmmaking exploring its possibilities through new genres and experiments.