New Zealand-based director Jonathan King has only made two movies, but what a pair. His first effort, Black Sheep, is the story of genetically altered killer sheep and it’s absolutely bananas. Funny, frightening, and featuring some of the best visual effects of any recent creature feature, it’s the kind of film that makes you stand up and take notice. His second feature, Under the Mountain, is an adaptation of a beloved New Zealand children’s book, and it’s just what you want in a movie targeted at kids—great monsters, and the sense that the stars are actually in danger.
Now King is turning his aim towards science fiction. That should be good news to any of you familiar with his work, or those of you interested in fun, original genre offerings.
On his personal blog, King writes that he has begun filming a new, low-budget sci-fi film called Realiti. He’s also released a pair of stills from the set, featuring stars Michelle Langstone, Nathan Meister, and Miranda Manasiadis.
King doesn’t reveal much in the way of plot details. The script is a collaboration between the director (who also writes a number of awesome comics) and his fellow countryman, writer Chad Taylor (Heaven, The Church of John Coltrane).
Realiti is full of big ideas, but something that can still be filmed for a modest amount of money. King’s previous films had larger budgets by New Zealand standards—Black Sheep had $5 million to play with, and Under the Mountain had $10 million—but they wanted to take a different direction this time out and avoid some of the obligations incurred by gathering together a large pot of cash. For inspiration the production has looked to movies like Bad Taste, Evil Dead, and Pi (which is funny, because all three of those directors—Peter Jackson, Sam Raimi, and Darren Aronofsky—now work with massive budgets).
This is some of the most exciting news I’ve heard in a long time, and Realiti is something we’ll be keeping a close eye on.