Here’s Yet Another Sci-Fi Short Film Being Turned Into a Feature

By  · Published on April 24th, 2015

Saman Kesh

It’s been almost a month since the last time we heard Hollywood is turning a short film into a feature, and I was beginning to wonder what was going on out there. At last, here’s yet another one, and of course it’s science fiction. It’s also yet another described as a proof of concept rather than something that was made to simply be a short film. Unlike some of the other shorts we’ve seen quickly picked up for adaptation, this one is relatively old, having originally been posted to the web in August 2013 as part of the Machinima Interactive Film Festival.

Titled Controller, this visual pitch was made by Iranian-American filmmaker Saman Kesh, and according to Deadline, Fox has bought the rights to the idea for Real Steel director Shawn Levy to produce. Relative unknown Alev Aydin is writing the screenplay. The premise, as you’ll see but may not immediately understand, is that a kidnapped woman is able to control her boyfriend, who becomes a killing machine as he makes his way through an office building to her rescue. Its style and plot are heavily influenced by video games, even including a menu bar on screen.

Shot in Taiwan, Controller is said to be the just the idea for the third act. Maybe the first two have her controlling her boyfriend in other locations, but when he gets to where she should be, he gets a message that she’s in another castle – er, building. The short is really just a vaguely plotted action sequence, though, so don’t worry about being spoiled on the ending of the eventual feature. Knowing Hollywood to be the way they are, we can assume the adaptation will not star Taiwanese actors nor feature Mandarin dialogue.

Watch Controller here, and then below watch the prequel, I__U:

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Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.