Ethan Hawke is no stranger to the world of science-fiction, but 31 years after breaking into the live action scene he will now be making his debut into virtual reality with the sci-fi animated short ‘Invasion!’
Directed by Eric Darnell (Antz, Madagascar), this interactive and animated film follows menacing aliens with vastly superior technology who come to claim the Earth and destroy anyone in their way. Despite incredible odds, Earth's citizens rise up and defeat the evil aliens. Surprisingly, these Earthly citizens are not humans but a pair of the cutest, meekest and cuddliest creatures of our planet: two fluffy white bunnies.
The film features Hawke as the voice of the cosmos, an off-screen narrator that introduces the main characters, which include some cute bunnies and two very unexpected aliens with unknown intentions. Produced by Redwood City, California based Boabab Studios, the film is sheduled to debut on April 18 at the Tribeca film festival. The studio had previously released a trailer for ‘Invasion!’ Samsung’s Gear VR headset late last year, but this is the first time audiences get to see the whole thing, and hear Hawke’s voice.
The film’s director, and Baobab co-founder, Eric Darnell told Variety during a recent interview that he was looking for a voice with gravitas when his team approached Hawke — and was happy to learn that the actor was a virtual reality fan, eager to get his feet wet in the new medium.
Baobab now plans to release additional episodes featuring the two aliens introduced with “Invasion!”, and it is also exploring ways to monetize VR content through its own app as well as through distribution partnerships. The goal was to learn and iterate, said Darnell, which was one reason for the studio to keep “Invasion!” under 7 minutes. “By doing them short, it gives us a chance to learn,” he said. And by releasing short content over time, the studio can also play with new technical capabilities as they become available.