The science fiction romance genre really hasn’t taken hold over the last few years. At the beginning of the year, we saw Andrew Niccols’ The Host flounder in theaters, while at the end of the year, Spike Jonze’s Her will waltz into theaters in a limited release. Let’s face it, the genre hybrid isn’t as popular as sci-fi action films among general audiences. Filmmaker Drake Doremus is hoping to build a bridge between the action/adventure side of the genre and the romantic side with his new film Equals, which is looking to cast the star of another hybrid romance series that brought in the big bucks.
According to Deadline, Drake Doremus is looking to cast Kristen Stewart (The Twilight Saga, Snow White and the Huntsman) and Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Warm Bodies) to star in the futuristic love story. There are no solid plot details yet, but screenwriter Nathan Parker (Duncan Jones’ Moon) wrote the screenplay. Earlier this year, Doremus told Movies.com:
Like Crazy was about the past and had a very nostalgic feel to it, and kind of about my past. [Breathe In] is about confronting the idea of love in the present, and then what love means in the future is what I’m interested in exploring next.
Equals sounds interesting as part of trilogy about love, while it remains to be seen how far into the future the sci-fi romance film will take place. Doremus told Little White Lies that, “It’s not going to be out of hand, but I think it’s a logical next step, if that makes any sense without giving too much away, of the budget realm.”
Kristen Stewart and Nicolas Hoult should make a good on-screen couple. While Stewart is mostly blank-faced and bland in The Twilight Saga, she actually has the potential to be a good actress. She gave a solid performance in the small indie film Welcome to the Riley’s a few years ago, and she turned out a memorable performance in the film adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. On the other hand, Nicolas Hoult hasn’t really impressed audiences much after his performance as a child in About a Boy. Although he was convincing as an animated stiff in Warm Bodies, Jack the Giant Slayer really didn’t do much for anyone. For a better example, I would point to Nicolas Noult’s work on the British TV series Skins.
As for Drake Doremus, Like Crazy was a surprising romance film from 2011, starring Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones as the film’s couple. His follow-up, Breathe In, received mostly positive reviews while on the film festival circuit earlier this year. It premiered at Sundance this past January and features a solid cast including Guy Pearce, Felicity Jones, and Amy Ryan.
Equals has the potential to be good with a screenwriter like Nathan Parker behind it. His debut screenplay was Duncan Jones’ Moon, which is considered one of the best science fiction films of the last 10 years. With Nathan Parker and Drake Doremus working together on Equals, it seems like the sci-fi romance could be a winner.
Equals is expected to start production in early 2014. It’s most likely that we’ll see the film open in theaters sometime in 2015.