VOYAGERS, starring Colin Ferrell, Tye Sheridan (Ready Player One) Lily-Rose Depp (The King), and Fionn Whitehead (Dunkirk) is a sci-fi thriller where the future of the human race is in danger as a group of scientifically engineered men and women launch into outer space to colonize a new inhabitable planet.
Once they realize their desires and emotions are being suppressed by a blue liquid they’re ordered to take daily, they stop following orders and begin to explore their most primal instincts. They quickly learn what it means to feel pleasure and pain as the ship endures chaos. VOYAGERS is the epitome of what it means to be human as they’re consumed by love, lust, hunger for power, and fear. Written and directed by, Neil Burger, (The Divergent series, Limitless, The Illusionist) VOYAGERS could be the next sci-fi obsession.
Much of the film takes place on the ship, transcending time and space. Burger talks about the challenges of creating a film in such tight quarters saying that film is really about human nature. Although the talent was exceptional, training the young cast to be extremely still with so much energy became the real challenge.
“I had 30 actors who were 20 years old. They were supposed to be very docile… so to bring all of their nervous energy down and young energy down was the challenge as a director.”
Not to mention, there were no windows so light wouldn’t appear on-screen because space is obviously dark. I asked about using green screen with some of the technical bits in the film but to my surprise, the set was a NASA design for deep space travel and used throughout the majority of the film.
“The spaceship is pretty much based in reality… There’s no windows. There’s nothing to see… There’s no light. There’s just blackness out there so it’s all very internal and all claustrophobic in a way which just heightens the suspense.”
Fionn Whitehead, who ultimately ends up being the antagonist of the film, speaks on the set’s environment saying that the white walls were sterile and cold. He said that the set’s closed-off nature created a real sense of claustrophobia leading each character to have intense reactions once they’re no longer taking the “blue.” His character, Zac, ends up in disagreements which led to fights on the ship. I asked if he had to learn how to do fight sequences for the film but he said Burger was adamant they learn how to “not fight.”
“We had 2 weeks for preparation but one of the things they were really keen on were making sure we didn’t seem like we knew how to fight at all. They wanted to strip it back and seem kind of animalistic almost like chimp-like in the way that we fought like there was a lot of open palm stuff and if you made a fist, you couldn’t punch you had to beat.”
There are many nuances throughout the film that leaves audiences realizing how different life in space would be and how normal everyday commodities are more of a luxury than we may consider. VOYAGERS uncovers truths about what it would mean to save future generations and shows us that everything is not as it may seem.
VOYAGERS is distributed by Lionsgate and will be released on April 9th, 2021.