Hot off The Rover, a dystopian thriller for which the actor is earning raves, Guy Pearce has joined the cast of another futuristic indie – this one titled Equals. Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult were previously announced to be leading the cast for Like Crazy director Drake Doremus, so it’s expected that Pearce will take on a supporting role.
Equals, which is billed as a stylish sci-fi romance, is “set in a world where there is no greed, no poverty, no violence, and no emotion. But a new disease is threatening everyone: SOS, or Switched-On-Syndrome, activating depression, sensitivity, fear, love — and once a person is overtaken, they are sent away and never seen again.” The IMDb summary for the film expands on that, though take it with a grain of salt until an official full synopsis is released:
A futuristic love story set in a society where emotions have been eradicated. Equals tells the story of Silas (Hoult), who lives in a future society called The Collective. The inhabitants of this modern world are a new breed of humans called Equals. Equals are peaceful, calm, fair and polite. Life in The Collective is perfect; there is no greed, no poverty, no violence and no emotion but a new disease is threatening everyone. SOS, or Switched On Syndrome, is activating in its victims everything they thought they had escaped: depression, sensitivity, fear & love. Once a person is overtaken with SOS, they are sent away to The Den and never seen again. When Silas is infected, he becomes an outcast but he notices one person who seems to understand what he’s going through. Nia (Stewart) has feelings, but she seems to be able to hide them. When he confronts her, they discover a connection that quickly takes over everything. They feel love and intimacy for the first time in their lives but the only way for them to ensure their survival is to escape.
It’s a story we’ve seen before, most prominently in the Christian Bale starrer Equilibrium and Lauren Oliver’s bestseller Delirium, but Doremus will likely provide a low-key, character-driven take on what has previously been interpreted as a more action-heavy premise.
Pearce has proven that he has the ability to play both strong heroes and villains, in movies as diverse as Curtis Hanson’s L.A. Confidential, Christopher Nolan’s Memento, Ridlety Scott’s Prometheus and Shane Black’s Iron Man 3, so it will be great to see him sink his teeth into whatever part Doremus hands him.
What makes Pearce’s casting all the more exciting is that he has a history with Doremus, having led the helmer’s most recent film Breathe In. That tragic drama received positive reviews when it was released in March, though some accused it of being overly melodramatic, but Equals, which boasts a screenplay from Moon scribe Nathan Parker, will surely find the pair taking on much more thought-provoking subject matter.
Equals is gearing up for an August shoot in Japan and Singapore.