The influence of 1998's Dark City on modern science fiction cannot be understated, with director Alex Proyas' movie having inspired such classics as The Matrix, and thus all the similar movies that came thereafter, and the works of A-list director Christopher Nolan. Now considered a deeply influential cult classic, Proyas has revealed he will return to the neo-noir world of Dark City with a new television series.
"Dark City right now is really an intriguing one to me because we're developing a series, a Dark City Series. Which we're in the very early stages [of] but I'm having to reanalyze in order to construct a new story. I'm having to go back and kind of jog my memory as to what we actually did and what I think worked and what I think didn't work and reevaluate my own film, so that's been a very interesting experience as well which I've not done before."
Starring Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly, Richard O'Brien, and William Hurt, Dark City follows John Murdoch, an amnesiac man who finds himself suspected of murder. Murdoch attempts to discover his true identity and clear his name while on the run from the police and a mysterious group known only as the "Strangers." The murky, nightmarish city sat at the movie's center is open to all manner of interpretation, with some believing the story to be a retelling of Plato's Allegory of the Cave, whilst others feel that it harkens back to German expressionism and themes of urban repressionism. Some of course just sit back and enjoy the grim aesthetics and intriguing mystery, so there truly is something for everyone.
Upon release, Dark City received generally positive reviews, with legendary movie critic Roger Ebert describing it as a "great visionary achievement," and praising its originality and vision, while others chastised Dark City for being too grim and for simply being a mish-mash of film noir and sci-fi without making the best of either. So, if you have to see Dark City, perhaps now is the time to go check it out and see where on the critical spectrum you fall...
While details of the Dark City series remain largely unknow at this time, audiences who cannot wait to once again skulk around the titular metropolis can revisit the neo-noir world in the upcoming short film Mask of the Evil Apparition, which is playing as part of the Popcorn Frights Film Festival.
Developed by Alex Proyas and filmmaker Joe Lynch (Wrong Turn 2, Mayhem), Mask of the Evil Apparition is a 20-minute short film for which the official synopsis reads; "A young woman with no memory searches a deserted nocturnal city looking for something or someone. Only problem is she can't remember who or what. She encounters twin brothers who may be her salvation, but one of them warns her that the "Mysterious Ones," a nefarious group of clones, are after her. Another woman in disguise also offers to help, but can she be trusted?" The brand new short is being described as "a film about identity by visionary filmmaker Alex Proyas, made entirely with virtual production, and from the Dark City (1998) cinematic universe originally created by Proyas."
Mask of the Evil Apparition is streaming as part of Popcorn Frights, and "Both the Q&A and film will be available for everyone in the US to access starting at 9pm EST tonight, August 12th, through the duration of the fest, August 19th." This comes to us from Bloody Disgusting.