Ice Cube is set to star in a sci-fi thriller from producers Timur Bekmambetov and Patrick Aiello using screen capture technology developed by Bekmambetov himself. As reported by Deadline, the as yet untitled project has been fast-tracked by Universal to begin production next month.
Earlier this year, Bekmambetov landed a five-picture deal at Universal thanks to his Screenlife technique, which is essentially a tool used to coordinate every aspect of a production, from the actors to the crew, entirely via screen capturing. These kinds of films have become increasingly more attractive after the success of Unfriended, Searching, and recent Shudder breakout Host as studios are looking for ways to keep cranking out movies during an historic pandemic. Screen capturing allows for relatively cheap productions that can easily observe social distancing guidelines, as quite literally every member of the cast and crew can work from within their own homes, theoretically from anywhere in the world.
The Cube/Bekmambetov/Aiello teamup will be directed by Rich Lee from a script by Kenneth Golde. Little is known about the plot except that its being described as a grounded sci-fi thriller in the vein of District 9 centered on the conflict between privacy and surveillance. Obviously, the concept of surveillance lends itself well to the screen capture format, so it’ll be interesting to learn more details about the plot as the project moves forward in the coming months. And honestly, Unfriended, Searching, and Host were all quite good (especially Searching), so pushing a screen capture project forward with a captivating presence like Cube at the center seems like a no-brainer.