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‘The Lawnmower Man’ is Coming Back in VR

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Jaunt unveils their 2017 VR scripted slate at Sundance.

As the Sundance Film Festival kicks off today in Park City, Utah, Jaunt has revealed the development of five new original scripted VR series — one of which is based on the 1992 cult classic feature, The Lawnmower Man.

The company that most recently brought us Doug Liman’s VR series Invisible, Jaunt has partnered with rights holders Jim Howell and Rupert Harvey to reimagine The Lawnmower Man in VR.

“The original movie was a film of unsurpassed imagination and creativity with its ground-breaking use of VR back in 1992,” said Jim Howell. “Together with Jaunt we look forward to a contemporary team bringing to life a whole new world of VR; a world of immersive entertainment and communication. We are very excited to be working with Jaunt to create a VR realization of the film.”

Although there were little details shared about the VR scripted series, The Lawnmower Man stands out as one of the few VR movies constantly brought up during conversations about virtual reality. The original film was named after a Stephen King short story of the same name; but, aside from a single scene, the stories are unrelated and with VR significantly added to the storyline. The film stars Jeff Fahey as Jobe Smith, a simple-minded gardener, and Pierce Brosnan as Dr. Lawrence Angelo, the scientist who decides to experiment on him.

“As we continue to develop more immersive, cinematic VR content with high production values and longer run-times, it solidifies for us that VR is fast-becoming a mainstream staple within the entertainment industry,” said George Kliavkoff, president and CEO of Jaunt. “2016 was the final year of experimentation and every indication is that 2017 will be the year of action and adoption. We’re excited to be in development on all five of these series alongside some of today’s top talent.”

sudance-vr-series-jauntIn addition to The Lawnmower Man VR announcement, Jaunt revealed four additional series going into production this year with deals that span partnerships with Creative Artists Agency (CAA), William Morris Endeavor (WME), Park Television Productions and Triton Media Inc.

Luna is a 12-episode sci-fi suspense series created by Adam Cooper & Bill Collage (ASSASSIN’S CREED, EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS) to be directed by Robert Schwentke (The DIVERGENT Series: ALLEGIANT and INSURGENT, FLIGHTPLAN). Luna follows an ensemble cast navigating an abandoned lunar base which results in them experiencing fear unlike anyone has felt before.

The Enlightened Ones is a political sci-fi episodic VR series written and produced by Tye Sheridan (X-MEN: APOCALYPSE, READY PLAYER ONE) and Nikola Todorovic of Aether, Inc. The Enlightened Ones is set in an alternative present where a device is discovered bringing immortality to the human race.

Bad Trip is a six-episode stoner comedy series from writer/director Todd Strauss-Schulson (HAROLD AND KUMAR 3D). The series will place the viewer in the hyper-visual and uncomfortable situation of taking various drugs in environments that are less than ideal.

Miss Gloria is a multi-episode VR series from New York Times Bestselling author, Daniel H. Wilson (Robopocalypse, How to Survive a Robot Uprising). Set in the distant future, the series situates the user in several distinct points of view as a “Robot Hero” tracks down a young girl who has gone missing during an uprising.

The Jaunt VR App, including all content released to date, is available on iOS, Android, Gear VR, PlayStation VR, Google Daydream, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and major desktop browsers.

Heading over to Sundance Film Festival? Be sure to check out our VR event guide.

About the Scout

Jonathan Nafarrete

Jonathan Nafarrete is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of VRScout.

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