A few weeks ago, Stephen Amell and his cousin Robbie dropped a mysterious sci-fi short film titled Code 8 with little warning. In addition to the once (and maybe future) Firestorm, the project starred Sung Kang of Fast and Furious fame, as two people on the opposite side of a conflict between a small percentage of super-powered individuals and an aggressive robot-enhanced police force, created in response to the sometimes-devastating effects of these powered men and women.
Following the tease and release of the impressive 10-minute short, the Amells revealed they had feature film aspirations for Code 8 and launched it as a crowdfunded project via Indiegogo.com. The project has more than tripled its $200,000 goal, and as the crowdfunding campaign still has several days remaining (it ends on April 22, 2016), things are looking pretty good, especially for those who contributed or simply want to see more after having their curiosity piqued by the film’s premise and its recognizable cast.
While speaking during a panel for The Flash at Emerald City Comic Con 2016, the subject of Code 8 was brought up and Robbie was more than happy to oblige those in attendance with an update on how the project came to be, how it is progressing, and where it’s headed now that the crowdfunding campaign looks to have been a success. The actor said the project came to him via director Jeff Chan – who co-wrote and directed the 2014 horror film Grace – and it became the perfect vehicle through which he as Stephen might finally work together. And although the Arrow star didn’t make it (physically) into the short film, the plan is to have both Amells in the upcoming feature.
“We launched [the Indiegogo campaign] about three weeks ago — less than that. And we just passed $650,000. That’s all thanks to the people that donated and supported it. I’m so grateful, so thank you so much. We shot [the short] last August. Stephen was supposed to be in it and he couldn’t because of Turtles. Luckily, we got an amazing actor in Sung Kang – from The Fast and Furious franchise, who I’m a huge fan of – and if you listen to the short film you can still hear Stephen. We had him ADR one of the drone pilots just for fun. And he’s awesome in it; he’s very menacing.
We wanted to work together [after] we got a little taste of it on the Flash-Arrow crossover, but we didn’t even get to say anything to each other. There were different iterations of the script where we had lines to one another and some of then kind of poked fun at us being related and others didn’t and they were like ‘We just can’t have you saying anything to each other because it’s too weird.’
But we wanted to do something together and my buddy Jeff Chan who directed the short film and will direct the feature film came to us with an idea. We talked it out and it was a world that both of us really loved being a part of and thought we could make something special. So we set out, made the short film, called in a lot of favors with some really talented people in Toronto, and now we get to make the feature film.”
For those who are still unaware what the story of Code 8 actually entails, Amell offered up a quick synopsis:
“In our world about four percent of the population has developed superpowers. Some are more powerful than others. It ranges from a class 1 to a class 5. Class 1 is a very useless power; class 5 is very, very dangerous and there aren’t many of them. And in this world the police force has implemented a new program, The Guardian Program, and they just have a little more force than they should have. But people with powers aren’t celebrated for them; they don’t wear costumes. This is a world where they are the minority; they are living under the poverty line. They’re just trying to get by. It’s illegal to use your powers in public. We wanted to create this very grounded real story about somebody struggling in that world.”
The biggest step in making the feature film will be getting a recognizable cast together, which is something Amell says is already in the works. They have lined up Legends of Tomorrow actor Victor Garber, and plan to use the hiatus from both The Flash and Arrow to give as many of their fellow co-stars a chance to be in the film – a perk that, according to Amell, wouldn’t have been possible without the freedom granted to them from such a successful crowdfunding campaign.
“We’re getting to make our dream cast thanks to you guys. Victor Garber has already said he’ll be a part of it. And I’m not going to tell you the rest, sorry. But… the whole reason we crowdfunded is we wanted to maintain control of the movie, because, if we were going to pitch something to you guys, and somebody else took over, we weren’t sure we could make what we promised. So, we’re gonna make something awesome that we know you’re gonna love with the people we know you want to see. The nice thing is because we need to work around Stephen’s schedule, that’s the same as all the Flash and Arrow [actors’] schedules. We have an offseason to shoot and we’re going to call as many favors in with the people we love working with.”
In addition to Chan, Grace co-writer Chris Paré, who also co-wrote the short film, has been brought on for scripting duties on Code 8. With filming apparently slated to begin as soon as Arrow and The Flash end their fourth and second seasons, more news will likely become available very soon.
Screen Rant will keep you up-to-date with regard to Code 8 and its possible start of production.
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