Elizabeth Banks to Voice ‘Cheez’ in ASTEROIDS!, Baobab’s Newest

She’s acted in films ranging from The Hunger Games to The Lego Movie, earned an Emmy nom for her work in 30 Rock and Modern Family, and is set to direct the Charlie’s Angels reboot. So it’s no exaggeration to say that Elizabeth Banks has established herself as one of Hollywood’s most expansive artists.

Now she can add VR to the mix.

Baobab Studios blasted onto the scene last year with their pioneering VR animation, INVASION!, which landed accolades from the likes of Cannes and Tribeca—and is slated to be the first VR short ever to become a feature film. Banks will voice Cheez, an affable alien in the universe-expanding followup to last year’s breakout, ASTEROIDS!, which debuts at Sundance Film Festival next month.

Though you’ll have to make the hike to Park City to see the piece in January, available today you can catch a Holiday Sneak Peek via Daydream, Gear VR, and Oculus.

In ASTEROIDS!, audiences participate as a friendly neighborhood helper-bot alongside the dynamic alien duo of Mac and Cheez, as well as their sidekick, Peas. When the spaceship finds itself under siege by snarling space-bugs, it’s our job to step up and save the day for our alien friends.

Interactive, cinematic VR is a new storytelling language for audiences, and the participation of Hollywood A-listers helps draw new audiences to the growing medium and learn the new storytelling language of VR.

“Elizabeth’s voice brings the heartwarming and blissfully innocent character of Cheez fully alive in ASTEROIDS!,” explains Maureen Fan, CEO and co-founder, Baobab Studios. “This story employs a secret, decodable and very fun alien language that she has fully and enthusiastically embraced in the voice of Cheez.”

If you haven’t seen INVASION! yet, Baobab’s ensured you have no excuse—it’s now available on Within, YouTube 360, Samsung VR, Jaunt VR, and Littlstar (in addition to its existing availability on Daydream, Gear VR, PSVR, Rift, and Vive).

About the Scout

Jesse Damiani

Jesse Damiani is Editor-at-Large of VRScout and Deputy Director of Emerging Technology at Southern New Hampshire University. He's also Series Editor for Best American Experimental Writing (Wesleyan University Press) and the author of @endless$pectator: The Screens Suite #loliloquy (BlazeVOX, 2017). Other writing can be found on Adweek, Billboard, Forbes, Quartz, and The Verge.

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