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‘Equals’ Is Suddenly the Next Big Indie Dream Team Project

Kate Lyn Sheil

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Remember back when we told you that it was time you started paying attention to indie it girl Kate Lyn Sheil? Well, not to get out braggy on, but we were right. Sheil has got a packed schedule — just look at her IMDb page, which is crammed with “completed” and “post-production” features, shorts and television projects — but the actress has managed to make some room for another feature film, one that’s already been poised to rocket its talented team into the next echelon of indie filmmaking. Needless to say, it’s a good fit for Sheil.

Sheil has just joined up with Drake Doremus‘ Equals, the latest feature from the perennial Sundance favorite (the director behind films like Breathe In and Like Crazy, both of which have bowed at the film festival in recent years to general acclaim), a futuristic and sci-fi-tinged project titled Equals. The film is a big step forward for Doremus, a high concept affair that still manages to focus on relationships (Doremus’ speciality). Complete with a script by Nathan Parker (Moon), Equals could be the next big sci-fi romance to hit the box office. Oh, and the rest of its cast doesn’t hurt, with Kristen Stewart, Nicholas Hoult and Guy Pearce already on board.

Although Equals has got a solid, indie-skewing cast — now including Sheil — what really sets it apart from other upcoming indies is its driving big idea. The film is “set in a world where there is no greed, no poverty, no violence, and no emotion. But a new disease is threatening everyone: SOS, or Switched-On-Syndrome, activating depression, sensitivity, fear, love — and once a person is overtaken, they are sent away and never seen again.” It’s like The Giver, but from a whole-cloth new idea.

The film’s IMDb page bills it as “a futuristic love story set in a society where emotions have been eradicated.” It’s set in a future society that’s known as “The Collective” (like a cool fashion house, but nefarious) that’s populated by the eponymous Equals. The Equals are just that — equal — and everyone is the same. Too bad that the “same” means that they just don’t feel emotions. When the SOS starts felling Equals, most of them are sent to “The Den.” That doesn’t sound too good, right? That’s probably why Stewart’s character, Nia, is so bent on hiding that she’s started to feel things — too bad Hoult’s Silas can see through her. Duh, they fall in love. (And, duh, that’s not the best thing to have happen in such a society.)

There’s no word yet on what kind of character Sheil will be playing — we just know that her part is named “Kate” and she’s one of the few cast members who already pops up on Equals‘ IMDb page. Will she fall victim to SOS, too? Or is she going to help bring down the film’s overly feeling lovers? We can’t wait to find out.

Sheil’s resume is studded with lots of big indie names, including Ti West, Amy Seimetz, Adam Wingard, Robert Byington, Rick Alverson, Joe Swanberg, Sophia Takal, Alex Ross Perry and Lawrence Michael Levine, so it’s no surprise that she’s finally joined up with Doremus, though it’s pleasing that she’s done it with a film that looks set to push its filmmaker forward. 

Equals is set to start filming in Japan and Singapore in August. Expect this one to arrive in theaters sometime in 2015 (and, no, we’re not ruling out a Sundance premiere, that would be crazy talk). [via Press Release]

Kate is an entertainment and culture writer and editor living in New York City. She is also a contributing writer for VanityFair.com, Cosmopolitan.com, RollingStone.com, Vulture, MTV.com, Details.com, The Dissolve, Screen Crush, New York Daily News, Mental Floss, and amNY. Her previous work can also be found at MSN Movies, Boxoffice Magazine, and Film.com. She lives her life like a French movie, Steve.

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