Thoughtful sci-fi thrillers only come around once in a while, which explains our enthusiasm for Coherence, Snowpiercer and Edge of Tomorrow in We Got This Covered’s mid-year retrospective. But looking to the future, there are quite a few possible winners on the horizon, including next year’s AIR, which reteams The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus with that series’ creator Robert Kirkman (on board as a producer). Of course, it’s too early to say whether the movie will be a success or not, but what we’ve heard about the project so far is promising.
AIR takes place in a future where Earth’s air has become toxic. In response to that, the human race has established underground bunkers, which house sleeping tanks containing the people considered to have the best shot at rebuilding civilization somewhere down the line. Reedus and Hounsou play workers awoken from their sleeping tanks for a two-hour shift doing maintenance work around the bunker, which occurs every six months.
Speaking with EW, which premiered the above image from the film today, Reedus gave some insight into the movie:
“It’s a psychological thriller. It’s a story of two people who are pretty much the last people on the planet. They run a facility that has all the best of the best that’s being held in sleep tanks that will be re-awakened to populate the earth, and one of them thinks of their job as the scientist and the other thinks more of their job as a janitor. And the position is kind of in between both of those. But one of them discovers that the other has a secret, he’s holding onto the secret and that secret is that he’s trying to keep a certain person alive. And through the character I play, his past is such a dark one, and the guilt of what he’s done weighs so heavy on him that he sort of substitutes his real family for this other person in his mind, and he sort of looks at him as a brother in this way that’s a little too close for comfort. And what happens is he ends up forcing the action to take place against the other person’s will. So it becomes this thriller, this mindf— of a movie of convincing this other guy to do something he doesn’t want to do.”
Reedus added that what drew him to the script was its sense of immense claustrophobia, promising that the film has maintained that element while also achieving moments that are “terrifying” and “uplifting.”
Christian Cantamessa directed AIR from a script he co-wrote with Chris Pasetto. It’s tentatively set to open in early 2015.