While two-time Oscar-winning director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu hasn’t fixed on a movie project after his harrowing Best Picture nominee The Revenant, he is working on an intriguing sideline: a virtual reality short. It’s one that he’s been developing for four years, and the short is being produced and financed by Legendary Entertainment and Fondazione Prada, which announced it. ILMxLAB, Lucasfilm’s recently established Immersive Entertainment division, will build the virtual world and characters.
Gonzalez Inarritu is back at it again with Oscar-winning cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki in what is described as an experiment for their first time within a space narrative in this new visual medium. The immersive virtual reality piece will explore the intense and excruciating experience of a group of immigrants and refugees crossing the border between Mexico and the U.S.
The companies haven’t disclosed how this film will be seen. It is a hot-button topic in the election year, but this one won’t be released until next spring, long after the presidential elections. Virtual reality is in its most nascent stages, but having a filmmaker of his esteem is a giant leap forward.