Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images; Courtesy of Baobab Studios (2)
From left: Tye Sheridan, Liza Koshy, Sarah Eagle Heart
Ready Player One star Tye Sheridan and YouTube personality-turned-actress Liza Koshy will voice-star in Crow: The Legend, an ambitious animated virtual-reality short from Baobab Studios, the company behind VR movies Invasion! and Asteroids!
Native Americans in Philanthropy CEO Sarah Eagle Heart is also joining the cast of the project, which is being executive produced by John Legend.
Eric Darnell, the Boabab co-founder who previously co-directed the Madagascar movies, wrote the script and is helming.
Crow: The Legend is inspired by the Native American folktale of the origin of the crow. Legend will voice the titular character, a brilliantly plumed bird who is nominated by his fellow animals to bring warmth back to the world in an endless winter. He is rewarded for his journey and carries the gift of fire back to his fellow creatures in his beak. However, in doing so he sacrifices what is most dear to him.
In the story that has a message of selflessness and self-acceptance, Sheridan will voice Turtle, while Koshy will voice Owl. Eagle Heart voice the moon, Luna.
Casting Eagle Heart was vital to Darnell and Baobab CEO and co-founder Maureen Fan.
“It was incredibly important to us not only to tap into Sarah’s talent, but also to partner with her to give authentic voice to Native American storytelling culture,” said Darnell. “Our goal is to shine a light on this incredible, historic tradition, and also to partner together to support programs in the future.”
The short had a prologue that debuted at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival and featured the voices of Legend as well as Diego Luna and Constance Wu.
Crow: The Legend is set to debut later this year.
Baobab has been on the forefront of the VR charge with some high-profile and high-wattage output. Its debut, Invasion!, voice-starred Ethan Hawke and is now in development with Roth Kirschenbaum Films to be adapted into a feature. Asteroids!, the follow-up that featured Elizabeth Banks, was the first VR movie to have a red-carpet premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and won best VR animation honors at the 2018 Lumiere Awards.