Sometimes dreams do come true, just ask special effects guru and burgeoning director Aaron Sims. His short film, Archetype, looks like a blockbuster Hollywood movie, and now it has a chance to become one. Weeks after Archetype went viral on YouTube (spawning many mirrored copies in several different languages), producer John Davis has bought the rights to turn it into a full length film. Davis, who produced the Will Smith Asimov-esque I, Robot (2004), had recent success with the found-footage sci-fi hit Chronicle. With decades of experience in movies as a special effects designer in major motion pictures (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, I am Legend, The Incredible Hulk, etc) Sims will now get a chance to direct the adaptation to his own work. Set in a world of eight-foot tall military robots fighting desperate wars while battling their past memories as humans, a full length Archetype movie is just what the action-loving futurist ordered.
As Singularity Hub mentioned when reviewing Archetype’s debut, the short film plays with some wonderful themes associated with the rise of machine intelligence, the ongoing discoveries of neurology, and the ethics of military technology. It tells the story of an RL-7, a robotic soldier that’s beginning to suspect it used to be human. If you haven’t seen Archetype, go ahead and watch it now, it’s seven minutes well spent.
While no production is guaranteed to succeed, it’s clear that Davis and his team are poised to make a great run at transforming Archetype into a blockbuster hit. Sims is on to direct, John Norris (from Oscar-nominee The Help) will produce, Guy Busick and Ryan Murphy will write/adapt the screenplay, and the Aaron Sims Company looks to be continuing as the special effects house. From the beginning, Sims made Archetype as a sales-pitch, a demonstration that the basic idea could make a great piece of cinema. Clearly Davis bought that pitch, and with that purchase comes a little more hope for future filmmakers out there. The technology exists to allow burgeoning storytellers to create high-quality shorts (even features) independent of major studios, and then spread them virally on the internet. When such a video makes a splash, producers like Davis are sure to sit up and take notice. Sims isn’t the first to make the transition from short to full-length film, but Archetype looks to be at the front of a new (and growing) wave of projects that will find success through the power of the internet. Congratulations to Sims and the Aaron Sims Company for taking the risk in making Archetype, I hope you guys enjoy reaping the rewards as well. And kudos to Davis for knowing a good idea when he sees one. Davis helped Chronicle take a modest $12 million budget and get noticeable success ($60M+). Let’s hope Archetype follows in that vein.