Four years after The Crow, filmmaker Alex Proyas returns with Dark City, a neo-noir science fiction picture that ushers us into a nightmare world from which no one seems to awaken. With the short film Mask of the Evil Apparition, which premieres tonight as part of the Popcorn Frights Film Festival, Proyas returns to that rich, vivid realm after all these years.
Alex Proyas Says He’s Working on a ‘Dark City’ Series
“A young woman with no recollection traverses a deserted nocturnal metropolis yearning for something or someone,” according to the 20-minute short. The only difficulty is that she has no recollection of who or what it was. She meets twin brothers who might be her salvation, but one of them warns her that the “Mysterious Ones,” a malicious clone group, are hunting her. Another disguised woman offers assistance, but can she be trusted?” “A film about identity by visionary filmmaker Alex Proyas, developed entirely with virtual production, and from the Dark City (1998) cinematic world originally conceived by Proyas,” according to the description of the brand new short. A Q&A with Alex Proyas and filmmaker Joe Lynch (Wrong Turn 2, Mayhem) will be included in the virtual event, which Bloody Disgusting was privileged to sample this afternoon. During the interview, Proyas discloses that he is working on a Dark City series! “Which we’re still in the early stages [of], but I’m having to reanalyze in order to develop a fresh story,” he continues. I’m having to go back and analyze my own film and jog my memory as to what we actually did and what I think worked and what I think didn’t work, so that’s been a very interesting experience as well.” Proyas also discusses the 2008 Director’s Cut of Dark City, which allowed him to return to the set and restore his original vision for the film – as best he could, at least.
He adds, “You know, it tested really poorly, and I was compelled to do certain things I didn’t agree with, which we made up for to a degree in the director’s cut.” “Because you weren’t able to completely restore it. I mean, the whole goal of a director’s cut is to give the impression that we’ve resurrected what we did before. But you’ll never be able to do it. It’s frequently impossible. We used to shoot on neg and then cut the negs. And it’s been chopped in a specific way, making it extremely difficult to return to the original design. So you like a jumbled up version of it. It’s certainly closer to my initial vision than the theatrical edit, but it’s still not quite there. To do anything like that, you’d have to go back to the daily grind.” Dark City’s original trailer can be seen here. “A man who fights with memories of his past, which include a wife he can’t remember and a terrible world no one else ever manages to wake up from,” Rufus Sewell played John Murdoch. Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt, and Richard O’Brien were among the cast members of the 1998 film. Mask of the Evil Apparition will be streaming as part of Popcorn Frights, so get your tickets now. “Both the Q&A and the film will be available for everyone in the US to access starting at 9pm EST tonight, August 12th, through the remainder of the festival, August 19th,” according to the press release.
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