The Movie Waffler Waffling With 2047: VIRTUAL REVOLUTION Director Guy-Roger Duvert | The Movie Waffler

Waffling With 2047: VIRTUAL REVOLUTION Director Guy-Roger Duvert

guy-roger duvert
We chat with the director of the upcoming sci-fi thriller.

In the tradition of Blade Runner, and starring Jane Badler (V, V: The Final Battle, Mission: Impossible) and Mike Dupod (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol), comes 2047: Virtual Revolution.

The year is 2047. Most of the world's population live inside corporate-controlled virtual worlds and drift further out of touch with reality. Nash, a private investigator/mercenary is hired to track down a group of hackers who are disrupting and terrorising the virtual space in a bid to free human beings from their online prisons.

Guy-Roger Duvert’s (Eyeborgs) stunning sci-fi thriller, the recipient of over 40 awards, including Best Film at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards and Best Feature at Dragon Con, makes its US DVD premiere January 16th from Wild Eye Releasing.

2047: virtual revolution poster

In a few words, what’s the film about?

The story is set in 2047. 75% of the population spend their time online, inside virtual worlds, and don't care about reality anymore. Nash, a shadow agent working for one of the multinational companies behind these virtual worlds, has the task to identify, track and eliminate terrorists who threaten the system. The film is 'tech noir', a mix between film noir (private investigator kind of character, femme fatale, moody atmospheres...) and science fiction movies (flying cars, robots, cybernetic prostheses...). Two thirds of the stories are set in Neo Paris, France, and one third inside virtual worlds (a medieval fantasy one, and a post apocalyptic futuristic one).

What initially appealed to you about it?

It's a pure anticipation story. It asks now questions we'll eventually have to answer in our future, which is the very definition of anticipation. Also, the world it allowed to create was extremely exciting. We mixed some futuristic elements to more retro elements, shooting in various exciting real locations in Paris. Usually, futuristic cities are based in North America or in Asia, in sci-fi films. It was interesting to develop our visual world in old Europe.

Would you compare the storyline to anything we’ve seen in earlier films? Anything you can say is an intentional homage? 

When it comes to the story, there are some similarities with a film such as Surrogates, or the anime Sword Arc Online, but it was not on purpose. More something we realised after. That being said, if there are similarities, there are also many strong differences, so don't expect to see the same thing. Visually, however, there was a conscious inspiration: Blade Runner (the first one; we actually shot before the release of the second one). Which actually makes sense, as Blade Runner is the film that invented the visual codes for tech noir. As for homages, we actually hid a few visual eastern eggs, that are small homages to video games (Fallout), anime (Ghost in the Shell), or genre writers (Lovecraft). They're discreet, though, so not that easy to find.

Do you write with a budget in mind?

Yes. Totally. That's how you create production value. If you write something that you can't film properly, and you still try, that's how a film will look cheap. Virtual Revolution looks much more expensive than it actually cost, because even during development, I always had in mind how I could film this in an effective way.

Besides what it’ll do for your career, are there any standouts involved in the film that you believe will see a real career boost from being involved in it? 

I certainly hope so. The lead actor, Mike Dopud, is an actor who works all the time on many TV shows (Stargate, Continuum, Arrow, Dark Matter...) and movies (X-Men, Deadpool 2...), but he's not given lead roles. In Virtual Revolution, he definitely proves that he's fully lead role material. Some reviews compared him to Harrison Ford or Michael Fassbender, for instance. He won some performance awards with his role on Virtual Revolution. The film might be a way for him to get more lead roles in the future. Some secondary roles are also notable. Many reviews underlined the talent of Maximilien Poullein (who plays the hacker Morel) and Jochen Hägele (who plays Interpol Agent Stilson). My DP Cyril Bron has proved what he can do. He already works a lot in advertising, but this should bring him closer to feature film fictions. Finally, I know that the VFX company Blufire Studios, that did most of our visuals, has been contacted several times by people who discovered them through the film.

Have doors opened for you as a result of it?

Yes, definitely. Both for TV and theatrical projects. Some producers in Europe contacted me after the release of the film there. I certainly hope the same thing will happen in the US.

Has it all gone according to plan for you? Anything you’ll do differently next time around?

No, not everything went as wished. Distribution worldwide proved complicated even if we ended up being sold a little bit everywhere. Not having some big names in the cast, even in some secondary roles, proved to be an obstacle to distribution. I have no regret, though, as I didn't have the possibility to have names for this first feature. But the next projects will definitely have some names involved (as well as some of my actors on Virtual Revolution, that I want again in the future).

What’s ahead for you? 

I actually have a TV show inspired from the film in the work. We found some interest in Asia and in Europe, and we're now seeing who to partner with in the US. The world created with the film is actually expanding: a board game is published worldwide this year by Matagot, an important publisher, and a comic book is getting released in Europe (we need to start contacting publishers to have it released also in the US).

I'm also producing some new feature films. Two of them have finished development and are in financing. One sci-fi and one medieval fantasy.

And finally I'm positioned on two French films as a director only (not producing). They're still in development, though, so this definitely won't happen this year.

Insert the blank. If you loved… you’ll love my movie. 

If you loved Blade Runner or Blade Runner 2049, or Ghost in the Shell, or Akira, or the video game Deus Ex, you'll love my movie.