Stay on target
Director Duncan Jones has been blowing us away ever since Moon was released in 2009. Even in his less than successful efforts, namely Warcraft, he shows a knack for visual storytelling in the science fiction and fantasy genres. In both his scripts and direction, you can tell he personally loves the material.
That’s why we’re intrigued by his latest effort, Mute, which will debut on Netflix sometime this year.
Mute takes place in Berlin in a future 40 years from now that’s teeming with immigrants, a seedy underbelly, and conflict. Alexander Skarsgård plays Leo, a bartender who can’t speak and is on a quest to find his missing girlfriend. Two clues to her whereabouts are a pair of American surgeons played by Paul Rudd and Justin Theroux (just so you know, Rudd’s character’s name is Cactus Bill, and he has an amazing mustache).
Keith Bernstein / Netflix
Netflix released the first glimpses of Mute and its neon, blue and pink-tinted landscapes on Friday. It has a lot in common aesthetically with sci-fi fare such as Blade Runner with its slick, crowded streets and noir-era depression. Jones explained that the look and content of Mute is heavily inspired by some of these tropes and that it was made with some of his favorite sci-fi elements in mind.
“Mute is an encapsulation of everything I am fascinated by; noir, science fiction, and unique people in trouble because of who and what they are,” he said in a press release. “I’m delighted to be able to return to Berlin for the shoot, a place I lived for a period of time growing up, and I’m excited to be working with Netflix on a film that is so close to my heart.”
Jones’ longtime business partner Stuart Fenegan told Netflix that the film has been in development for at least 13 years, back when Jones handed him an early version.
“I have wanted to bring it to life ever since. We just had to make Moon, Source Code and Warcraft in between,” Fenegan said.
The general public first heard about Mute back in 2009 after the success of Moon. According to Slashfilm, Mute is meant to be a spiritual successor to Moon in that it tackles similar themes and may also feature Sam Rockwell as his Moon character Sam Bell, if the film’s IMDB page is to be believed.
“Mute is a sci-fi story that takes place in Berlin. It’s very much a city film. Moon’s obviously a film about isolation, about as isolated as you can get on the far side of the moon,” Jones said.
There’s also a third film that he plans to add to this series, but details are scarce. Jones has said that it’ll have a female lead.
Mute also stars Seyneb Saleh as Leo’s girlfriend Naadirah and British singer Nikki Lamborn.
The flick started principal photography in October and wrapped filming in mid-December. It doesn’t have a release date yet, but it’s set to hit Netflix streaming sometime in 2017. Here’s hoping it does better than Warcraft, at least for Jones’ sake.
If @mute doesn't make 1 billion $, I'm going to kill every last mother-fucking one of you.
Just remembered it's on Netflix.
As you were.
— Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) December 14, 2016
Justin Theroux in “Mute” Keith Bernstein / Netflix