Ice Cube is Making a Screen Capture Sci-Fi Thriller with the Director of 'Wanted'

Just two years ago, Wanted and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter director Timur Bekmambetov said he was developing no less than 14 movies that would use his Screenlife screen capture technology to tell stories that unfolded across the screens of computers, tablets, and phones. This narrative format has already been used with the likes of Host, Searching, Unfriended, and the sequel, Unfriended: Dark Web, which Bekmambetov produced. Now he’s got a new screen capture movie being fast-tracked at Universal, and Ice Cube is set to star in it.

Deadline has news on the new Ice Cube movie, which is the first of a five-picture deal for Timur Bekmambetov to make Screenlife movies for the studio. Bekmambetov and Patrick Aiello are producing, and Rich Lee will direct with a script from Kenneth Golde.

As of now, there aren’t any details on the story, but the film is said to be “a grounded sci-fi thriller in the vein of District 9 centered on the conflict between privacy and surveillance.” The surveillance aspect of the movie will allow for a narrative that doesn’t just rely on computers, tablets and phones, which may give us something like Eagle Eye. And if it’s not called Straight Outta Computer Screens, I will be very upset.

If you’re not familiar with Screenlife, not only does it allow for a streamlined creation of movies with stories that unfold across the screens of our tech devices, but it also makes it easier to coordinate every aspect of a production, from the actors to the crew, via screen capturing. The filmmaker explained to Empire earlier this year how it will make production in the age of coronavirus that much easier:

“It is a very organic production process, and what we learned in the past few months is we are the only production technology allowing us to work during the restrictions. My actor is in London and I can record his screen from Los Angeles, and he can act and communicate with another actor who is in Sydney, in front of the screen. I am recording their conversation and it’s the same as filming them.”

There’s still a lot of innovation in storytelling left to be discovered with these screen capture movies. We’ve barely tapped the well on their potential since there have only been a handful of movies using this narrative structure. With the coronavirus pandemic making it much harder to produce traditional blockbusters, I’m betting we’ll see studios developing more movies like this, especially since they’re cheap to produce. They’re probably not all going to do something original, but hopefully some filmmakers out there have good ideas on how to use this kind of tech in a creative way. Maybe the recently revealed Ring drone security camera can help spice things up a bit in that regard.

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