While we may be a ways off from having full length virtual reality or 360-degree feature films and even further than that from having them debut in movie theaters in some way, that isn’t stopping big names from getting behind the formats. 20th Century Fox partnered with a production group for VR and 360-degree projects based on their different properties and we previously reported on the New York Times and Milk(Vr) collaboration that yielded a collection of shorts with appearances from major acts like Natalie Portman and Don Cheadle. Now, a major actress is making her way into the new immersive media by lending her voice to an animated VR feature.
Baobab Studios previously created the animated VR feature INVASION! directed by the same person responsible for Madagascar and narrated by Ethan Hawke. Their second feature, ASTEROIDS!, will feature the voice of Elizabeth Banks who’s known for her role as Effie Trinket in the Hunger Games series of films and is directed by Baobab’s co-founder and Chief Creative Officer Eric Darnell. The animation puts viewers in the role of a helper bot who’s flanked by a couple aliens, Mac and Cheez, and fellow robot Peas as you attempt to prove yourself on a mission in outer space. It’s set in the same universe as INVASION!, where the aliens previously made an apperance.
Cheez is voiced by Banks and will add to a film that is an official selection for the Sundance Film Festival that takes place in Park City, Utah from January 19th to the 29th.
Having a growing VR presence in such a major festival such as Sundance while also having a billed actress with the pedigree Elizabeth Banks brings is a testament to the potential of the medium and hopefully it will continue to evolve at a rapid pace. A sneak peak at the film is available on Samsung Gear, Google Daydream, and the Oculus storefront starting today.