We talk a lot of indie sci-fi here at GFR, but they’re usually of the “Starring That Guy You Vaguely Remember from That One Show” variety. That isn’t the case with Drake Doremus’ upcoming drama Equals, which stars two of Hollywood’s most popular young actors, Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult. We now have our first look at Equals, and it’s an up-close-and-personal connection between the two stars, set against a bright turquoise background. It’s almost like one of those optical illusions where you turn the image upside-down and the space between their faces is shaped like a bent-to-shit wine glass.
It’s nearly impossible to gauge anything about this movie from this picture, beyond a sense of intimacy. (Also that all sci-fi movies need at least one shot in a room withe completely unnatural light.) But in a film like Equals, the intimacy is actually a pretty huge deal. World-changing, even.
In a strange “divergence” from the YA Land of Dystopias, Equals sets up a future where the world’s population has completely eradicated emotions, and everyone is living harmoniously as mellow drones. (Mellowdrone is a great band, by the by.) Feelings-free humans are now called Equals, and their semi-perfect world is about to see a change, as a disease begins to spread that rouses emotions within its hosts. Instead of receiving proper medical treatment, these people are sent away and are never heard from again.
So it’s especially trying when Silas (Hoult) becomes infected. Presumably worried about his fate, he tries to hide his ailment and realizes that Nia (Stewart) is also infected, and is more than capable of shielding her feelings from the world. They work together — occasionally in turquoise-blue rooms — to figure out a way to escape this society and live free with their unexpected affectations. My guess is, they’ll have to infect the world! The world, I say!
Beyond the mostly forgettable Jumper, Stewart doesn’t really do sci-fi, so it’s understandable that this dramatic take would be her entryway into the genre. Hoult has both Warm Bodies and X-Men: Days of Future Past in his rear view, with Young Ones and Mad Max: Fury Road coming up, so he’s pretty much a science fiction stalwart by this point. Equals also stars Guy Pearce (The Rover), Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook), and Kate Lyn Sheil (You’re Next).
Hopefully we’ll get some kind of a trailer in the near future from Equals, which is produced by Ridley Scott’s Scott Free banner and is directed by Like Crazy helmer Drake Doremus. Though a few international distributors have nabbed the rights to Equals, it still doesn’t have a U.S. backer just yet. Its scheduled release is for some point in 2015.