Neither Keanu Reeves nor Roland Emmerich are any strangers to big time action. One thing they haven’t done much of up to this point in their respective careers, however, is work in television. Emmerich has had forays as a producer, and Reeves is scheduled to appear in the mini-series Rain before long, but the bulk of their time has been spent on big screens around the world. That’s in the process of changing at the moment, as the two are teaming up for a new sci-fi series called New Angels.
According to a press release from Slingshot Global Media, they are partnering with Reeves, via his Company Films banner, and Emmerich’s Centropolis, to develop this new project. Both will also executive produce, with Emmerich eyeing the director’s chair—surprise, surprise—at least for the pilot. Get ready for some big destruction on your small screen in the vein of Independence Day, White House Down, and The Day After Tomorrow.
New Angels is set in the future and follows the escapades of a young man “who escapes the mundane reality of his life by entering an exciting virtual reality world called New Angeles. Once down the rabbit hole, he adopts a new identity, becoming the man he was always destined to be, and in the process, unlocking the keys to a mystery that has real world consequences for him and his family.”
In a few regards, this sounds a little bit like Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, with a hero that uses a total immersion alternate reality in order to combat an unpleasant reality, though these worlds sound a different. The idea of fate and destiny, and again the artificially generated setting, also can’t help but evoke Reeves’ Matrix trilogy. It’s going to be interesting to see how they go about distancing themselves from these comparisons, and others, which are going to be a natural part of the reaction to this. But we’re talking about a vague description, so there will be plenty of space and opportunity to create something that stands alone and apart.
New York Times best seller Gregg Hurwitz, who will also executive produce, will handle the scripting duties for New Angels. He is the author of books like Don’t Look Back and Tell No Lies, comics like Batman: The Dark Knight and an adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Half, and has even sold a sci-fi script called Expulsion. Emmerich says, “Gregg is an incredibly imaginative writer, and I’m looking forward to bringing his ideas for the show to life. It’s exciting to get the opportunity bring a massive project like this to the small screen within a rapidly changing television space.”
There’s not a ton of additional information about New Angels, but it sounds interesting, and like the kind of project that will attract all of the major TV players, as well as substantial on screen talent, so this is definitely one we’ll be keeping our eyes on.