Both Robbie and Stephen Amell have managed, in two days, to get the Indiegogo funding they need to complete their first feature film, Code 8. To attract interest, the two filmmakers released a teaser trailer and a short film based on the proposed movie's premise - what it is like to live in a world where people are different and how we, as a society, treat them.
The story takes place in Lincoln City and states two things from the start: 4% of people possess abnormal abilities, and they account for over 60% of all arrests. It is hard not to feel a small sense of moral outrage from learning this, even if is is a fictitious world.
The film takes place in a world where 4% of the population have special powers. The show's web site says that
Instead of being billionaire superheroes, most ‘specials’ live in poverty and resort to crime, forcing the police to become more militarized.
The short film showcases the talents of Robbie Amell playing the part of a young man, with special powers, who struggles to find work, and support his family as a day laborer. It is difficult not to identify with this unnamed man's frustration and fear as he sees a telekinectic "special" gunned down on the morning news. Later in the day, things spiral out of control and turn tragic for the young man's friend after a confrontation with the police and some autonomous robots.
The short film also stars Aaron Abrams, playing the part of the young man's friend, and Sung Kang, playing the part of the police officer. Stephen, unfortunately, did not make an appearance in the short film due to other filming committments but promises he will be in the feature film.
Carmen Petaccios writes in Kill Screen article, "Twilight of the Superheores," that:
Superheroes have become the contemporary American equivalent of Greek gods—mythic characters who embody the populace’s loftiest hopes, its deepest insecurities, and flaws.
It is clear both Robbie and Stephen have something to say. Their use of super-powered "specials" as a minority mirrors the flaws in our own society, which makes the future film all the more interesting. The group that the general population fears, and sees a need to control, fits into the social narrative seen in superhero films, like Captain America: Civil War, and addresses issues of real world discrimination, institutional disenfranchisement of minorities, and surveillance of a highly militarized police force.
Whatever the message, we can look forward to their new movie now that they have met their finance goals.