Ethan Hawke To Voice ‘The Cosmos’ In VR Short Film ‘Invasion!’

by Joe Durbin • April 13th, 2016

Ethan Hawke is so much more than Josh Brolin’s long lost twin brother (I can’t be the only one who sees it).

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He is an incredibly versatile actor who – over the course of a decades long career – earned himself starring roles in groundbreaking films such as Training Day, Gattica, and Boyhood. Now, Hawke is taking on what may  be his most impressive role to date: that of the very universe itself.

Baobab Studios – a VR production house led creatively by Madagascar director Eric Darnell – is announcing today that Hawke will lend his voice for “The Cosmos.” This digital character will provide the narration for Baobab’s upcoming VR short film: Invasion!

The immersive trailer for Invasion! is currently available and can be downloaded for free and experienced on Gear VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The full release however, will debut for the first time at the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival.

The story revolves around two world’s colliding: the world of fuzzy bunnies and the world of aliens from outer space. A representative from the studio confirmed that, in its finished state, Invasion! will be about six minutes in length.

Darnell is directing Invasion! himself and said there was a moment of serendipity between himself and Hawke that confirmed his decision to cast the actor in the role of a cosmic being.

“The very first piece of narration that appears in Invasion! is based on the opening paragraph of HG Wells The War of the Worlds. When I went in to record with Ethan Hawke, I brought a printout of the section we were referencing so that he could see where it fit in the context of the book. When I pulled it out to show him, he had a huge grin on his face. It turns out that Ethan grew up near Grover’s Mill, the site where the aliens in War of the Worlds first landed. He would ride his bike near Grover’s Mill almost every day as a child. Each year in elementary school, the very passage I’d handed him was read aloud in class. The War of the Worlds was just a big part of his life growing up. Considering the similar themes found in Invasion!, I couldn’t imagine a more fitting or enthusiastic partner to narrate our film than the incomparable Ethan Hawke.”

Tribeca runs from April 13-24 in New York.

Baobab made news most recently for a $6 million dollar round of fundraising led by Comcast Ventures that also included investments from Zynga co-founder Mark Pincus and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel.

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