Rise, a sci-fi short film about a dystopian war between humans and AI, clocks in at a slim runtime of five minutes. It stars the late #AntonYelchin and packs as many sparkling visuals into the space as possible. Length-wise, it's little more than a movie trailer. Structurally, it's little more than a single scene, but five minutes is enough, because Warner Bros. just acquired the rights to the film. Keeping director David Karlak on board and bringing Hacksaw Ridge producer Brian Oliver to the project, Rise will be adapted into not just one film, but an entire franchise.
If it sounds like a familiar scenario, you're not far off. There are many other movies — in fact, you probably know most of them — that have grown from smaller science fiction stories. Looking back on similar adaptations gives us a big hint as to what we can expect from #Rise when it hits theaters.
First, check out the original short film:
Where have we seen this kind of movie before?
1. 'District 9' Shocked Us With Its Style
District 9 was expanded from Neill Blomkamp's short film, Alive in Joburg, and went on to be financially successful and critically acclaimed (it racked up four nominations at the #Oscars). District 9 tells the story of alien segregation in a unique way, using #documentary-style footage to build the film. Who knew it would work so well? Aside from being an incredible movie, District 9 proves that alternative filmmaking styles can be commercially successful if done well. Let's hope Rise rips a page from the District 9 book and takes a few stylistic risks.
2. 'Arrival' Was As Emotional As They Come
Just last year, Arrival shocked critics and audiences with a mind-bending, scientifically complex story about a linguistics professor (Amy Adams) hired to translate an alien language. While it didn't do so hot at the 89th #AcademyAwards, Arrival was a major player before it even hit the screen. Why is that? Arrival is adapted from the novella by Ted Chiang, Story of Your Life, which was given the Nebula award in 2000. Instead of making broad strokes with a political brush (like District 9), #Arrival settles for a deeply affecting character-based story. Sci-fi movies adapted from shorter works are often some of the most emotionally resonant, and with so few story limitations, Rise could shape up to be a brilliantly heartfelt piece of #scifi cinema, too.
Check out some of the things we learned after watching Arrival, and if you like this video, head over to Movie Pilot Video for more original content:
3. 'Minority Report' Brought Out The Big Special Effects
When prolific author Philip K. Dick wrote his 1956 short story The Minority Report, you have to wonder if he knew how big it would become. In this case, big means a Tom Cruise blockbuster. Minority Report dropped in 2002 and wowed us not only with a story of crime prediction technology, but also with some fantastic #SFX involving holograms. #MinorityReport brought a new standard to the table, and with Warner Bros. behind Rise, we can expect some quality visuals showcased in the movie.
4. 'This Is The End' Showed Us The Funny Side Of Science Fiction Concepts
Seth Rogan and Jay Baruchel starred in a 2007 short film titled, Jay & Seth Vs. The Apocalypse. Instead of staying at the film festivals as intended, it spawned the feature length comedy, This Is the End. The movie pits a myriad of comedians—who play themselves, funnily enough—against the apocalypse. More accurately, the Biblical Rapture. Who says sci-fi concepts can't be hilarious? This Is the End is a perfect example of #comedy dipping into sci-fi and sci-fi dipping into comedy. Is there a chance Rise will take a stab at some of the more unbelievable aspects of its story?
5. '9' Explored Atmospheric Potential
Shane Acker was still in college when he made 9, a creepy animation featuring sack cloth characters and atmospheric yellow lighting. Guess who caught wind of the short film? First, it was the Academy Awards, which nominated 9 for Best Animated Short. It was only natural that Tim Burton started paying attention. Burton adapted the short into a feature-length #animation. While the theatrical version of 9 is far from a success story (poor box office returns and shaky critical reception killed the movie), it still stands as a testament to the atmospheric strength of science fiction. Rise already gives off some pretty atmospheric vibes, and with original director David Karlak working on the film, there's a higher chance of the tone being carried over to the feature film.
Even if it is only five minutes long, Rise has a hell of a lot of potential. Will it live up to its predecessors? If history is any indicator, Rise has a high chance of being something unique. Science fiction adaptations bring new techniques to the table, experiment with alternative styles, and have a beautiful talent of ripping out our hearts.
Let's take a guess based on those five minutes of footage. Rise is something to be very excited about.