Movies can often be a wonderful form of escapism, something that has been very much needed for the past year, but Michael Bay is taking a different approach with Songbird, asking you instead to stare straight at the worst-case scenario of the world's current goings on. We now have our first look at Songbird, with a poster, several images and a trailer teaser offering us an idea of the movie's direction.

Songbird is set in 2024, and the ongoing situation has escalated in a way that only a Michael Bay movie can, with COVID-23 having mutated. The mortality rate is now over 50 percent and the virus is killing at an accelerated rate, to the point that the world has now entered its fourth year of lockdown, with infected Americans forced from their homes and into quarantine camps.

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The official press release for Songbird has offered more details, highlighting the romance at the movie's center. "At its heart, Songbird is a love story. Told from street level through the eyes of the characters, Songbird takes place two years into the future, as lockdown has been re-implemented after a more serious virus continues to mutate. In a feeble attempt to keep the sickness contained, the city has been bisected into haves and have nots. The film centers around an essential worker who has a rare immunity, a delivery man who delivers goods and hope throughout the city.

Like the vast majority of the population, his girlfriend is locked within her home, and the couple have no ability to physically be together. To be with the one he loves, our hero must overcome martial law, murderous vigilantes and a powerful, well connected family, helmed by a matriarch who will stop at nothing to protect her family and maintain her way of life. Songbird is a story about the resilience of the human spirit and the idea that hope is worth fighting for."

Directed by Adam Mason, who co-wrote the screenplay with Simon Boyes, and produced by Michael Bay, Adam Goodman, Andrew Sugerman and Eben Davidson, Songbird stars Riverdale breakout K.J. Apa and Adventures in Babysitting star Sofia Carson as the star-crossed couple, with Craig Robinson, Bradley Whitford, Peter Stormare, Alexandra Daddario, Paul Walter Hauser and Demi Moore in supporting roles.

Songbird certainly looks and sounds like a heavy watch, particularly amid the current circumstances, with audiences more likely to want to look away from the grim reality rather than be reminded of it. However, star Sofia Carson believes that the movie's message makes Songbird much more than a bleak reminder of the state of the things. "Even though this is the pandemic thriller and it's suspenseful and terrifying, the heart of a story is hope," she says. "It's the hope that is represented in Sara's character and the love between Sara and Nico. In our never-ending dark night, the songbird sings a song of hope." Well, we could certainly all use a little more of that.

Shooting on Songbird has been met with some issues, with the movie being shut down for a short period due to not adhering to safety protocols. Thankfully, this was rectified, with Michael Bay and the rest of the cast and crew once again allowed to work. Let's hope that the risks have been worth it. A release date for Songbird has not yet been set. This comes to us courtesy of Entertainment Weekly.

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Jon Fuge at Movieweb
Jon Fuge