A new frontier for television is approaching, and it seems that Doug Liman is leading the charge, as he teams with Conde Nast Entertainment to direct the first scripted virtual reality drama series – titled Invisible. For a long time, it was streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon that were shaking things up and driving change in the way audiences consume television content. Now, the medium seems to be about to head in a whole new direction.
Written by Julina Tatlock and Melisa Wallack (Dallas Buyers Club), the series will focus on an influential and wealthy New York family that harbours a giant secret.
“For generations, the dynastic Ashland family has passed on a gene that gives them an extraordinary ability, which has enabled them to accumulate vast amounts of power and wealth. As the modern generation faces diminished abilities and more scrutiny than ever before, the birth of an exceptional new child draws public interest and their family secret teeters on the brink of becoming exposed.”
This logline, combined with these writers, and with Doug Liman at the helm, makes for a very exciting project. With the name of the series being Invisible, we can assume that this relates to the “extraordinary ability” in question – something that will be very interesting to watch in terms of a dynasty accumulating wealth and power over the course of generations. In addition, writer Melisa Wallack clearly has an eye for this type of material, having previously written an episode of Believe, and having written the screenplay for the in-development comic book adaptation Emily The Strange.
Then there is Doug Liman – the director whose distinctive visual style kick-started the Bourne franchise back in 2002, and has since been stamped on projects ranging from Mr. & Mrs. Smith, to Edge Of Tomorrow. While he is not the most prolific of directors, it is his tendency to carefully select his projects that lends weight to this move into the realm of scripted virtual reality entertainment.
Finally, there is the concept – a virtual reality drama series about the ability to be invisible. The possibilities for this are endless. We do not yet know the extent to which the audience will be able to participate and influence the action, but by its very nature, the medium of virtual reality should enable some degree of interaction. If this extends to audience members being able to move through this fictional world as if they, themselves, are invisible, then that is, frankly, something of a master stroke in terms of uniting media and story.
Invisible is the result of Conde Nast Entertainment’s decision to expand into virtual reality programming in partnership with Jaunt Studios – and the series will eventually launch on the Samsung Milk VR platform, followed by Jaunt’s VR apps, with some companion content becoming available on CNE’s The Scene. A premiere date has yet to be set, but this entire project is one to watch, as Doug Liman, Julina Tatlock and Melisa Wallack stretch their content beyond traditional television broadcast and head into a brave new world.