EXCLUSIVE: Polly (Cohen) Johnsen and her Warner Bros-based Polymorphic Pictures have come on board to produce E.B. Rhee’s The Garden. The hope is to start a new science fiction franchise, and this is all based on a proof-of-concept short directed by Rhee as well as a feature screenplay written by Rhee & Aaron Strongoni (watch it above). A sci-fi re-imagining of Paradise Lost, the story follows a group of explorers who set out into deep space in search of a new home for humanity after they learn that the sun is dying. The VFX-heavy short was made for $30,000, and most of the cast and crew worked on it gratis.

Johnsen was the former President of Production at Warner Independent and oversaw Slumdog Millionaire and before that shepherded the Harry Potter films and was a producer on Wrath Of The Titans. Rhee directed the short and also was VFX supervisor. He has directed low-budget commercials and videos. Strongoni’s most recent writing credit was on Linsanity, the Jeremy Lin docu that premiered at 2013 Sundance.