EXCLUSIVE: Operation Othello, a Shakespeare-inspired virtual reality series pilot, produced by Viola Davis and Julius Tennon’s JuVee Productions in collaboration with Oculus, is part of the official 2019 lineup for Cannes Film Festival’s Marché du Film XR Arcade. A work-in-progress prototype of the pilot episode will be featured at the Fest which runs May 14-19.
The pilot, adapted from Shakespeare’s Othello, is set in the world of an elite naval special force’s unit sometime in the near future. It stars Tennon as Captain Othello and in a gender twist, Mary Chieffo (Star Trek: Discovery), who adapted the experience for VR, in the traditionally male role of Ensign Iago.
On the impact of VR, Tennon says: “We believe Immersive Media is an integral part of the future of storytelling and presents a unique opportunity to bring a voice to the voiceless. As an ‘empathy machine,’ we’re excited to see how VR can allow viewers to be intimately present with powerful characters across the broad spectrum of humanity.”
“As an avid Shakespeare lover who has been lucky enough to witness and perform his profound words on stage,” Chieffo says, “I was inspired to present the original text in a way that is accessible and exhilarating to a modern audience.”
The project is directed by Jeff Liu.
Operation Othello is executive produced by Davis and Julius Tennon along with Beth Grant and produced by Mary Chieffo and JuVee’s Josh Nelson. Division7 served as the physical production company with Executive Producer Patrick Milling-Smith and Producer Curtis Augspurger.