Virtual reality continues to expand to new heights, as more ambitious projects bring A-level talent to the medium. Alicia Vikander, ET has learned, is the latest Oscar winner to lend her star power to the immersive storytelling experience.
Vikander, who can be seen in theaters as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider, is set to voice star in and executive produce Arden’s Wake: Tide’s Fall, which will debut at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. It’s the second installment in the original VRseries about Meena (Vikander), a young woman living in a post-apocalyptic world and searching for her father in the depths of the ocean after his unexpected disappearance.
“This project is unlike anything I’ve ever done before, and I think virtual and augmented reality are going to be big in Hollywood, as well as entertainment more broadly,” Vikander said in a statement to ET.
“Meena’s character has a special spark, and I was immediately drawn to her when I experienced her in VR. The movie daringly brings up difficult situations while also allowing viewers to get quite close to the characters in such an immersive and emotional experience. I am thrilled to help bring Meena’s character to life.”
The expanded story -- approximately 30 minutes -- continues Penrose Studios’ embrace of long-form storytelling through virtual reality.
“The added emotion, perspective and texture Alicia adds to the piece is new territory for the studio, as well as for the AR & VR storytelling industry overall. We’re incredibly honored to have Alicia’s partnership in this journey, and it is inspiring to work with her,” added Eugene Chung, CEO and Founder of Penrose Studios as well as the writer and director of Arden’s Wake: Tide’s Fall.
“As we evolve the way we tell stories in AR & VR, we’re finding more and more ways to make sound and visuals work together to create engaging, human stories in this brand new medium.”
Vikander joins Rosario Dawson (Battlescar) and Lupita Nyong’o (My Africa), who both are involved in VR projects presented at the Tribeca Film Festival. Meanwhile, Al Gore appears in This Is Climate Change, a docuseries debuting three new episodes.
Last year, fellow Oscar winner John Legend helped debut Rainbow Crow, a Native American oral legend about a proud crow adapted into an animated series by Madagascar director Eric Darnell. Legend co-produced the project with Baobab Studios and voices the titular crow.
“[It’s] a really great way to immerse people in the story and restore people’s sense of wonder,” Legend told ET about getting involved in the growing storytelling formant.
Arden’s Wake: Tide’s Fall will premiere Friday, April 20 at the Tribeca Film Festival.