Baobab Studios’ lovable VR short, Invasion!, feels like a big screen family film crammed into a headset. Fittingly, it could actually end up in cinemas sometime soon.
Production studio Roth Kirschenbaum Films announced a partnership with Baobab to create a big screen adaption of the film. Few details about the project have been released, but it presumably stars the same playful rabbit that you meet on an iced-over lake in the VR short. In that piece, you also encounter two rather hopeless alien invaders that don’t take much to outsmart. The free experience only lasts a few minutes, but it was apparently enough to inspire former Walt Disney Studios chairman Joe Roth and former Universal Pictures co-president Jeffrey Kirschenbaum to make a big screen adaption.
It is to be the first full feature film to be based off of a piece of VR content. Roth said in a press release he wants it to become the “next Toy Story.”
Toy Story was a Pixar classic that helped usher in the new era of CG animation. Invasion! is helping break similar ground in VR, rather than simply contributing to a long-established formula for traditional films. Even in the context of VR, though, the film already has other peers like Oculus Story Studios’ Henry. Baobab raised $6 million to work on the project, which is written and produced by Madagascar director Eric Darnel.
Invasion! is currently available on the Oculus Rift and Gear VR, and will make its way to the HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, and Google Daydream headsets in the near future. A second episode in the series is also expected to release next year.
Big screen adaptions are just one way that VR is heading to movie theaters, though. Later this year IMAX will also launch location-based VR kiosks with VR film content that serves as a companion piece to big screen releases.