Netflix is adding yet another original movie to their long list of praiseworthy movies. The star-studded original Spiderhead is scheduled to be released on the streaming service in the near future. The film has an interesting storyline, enabling it to be labeled as a movie that puts together the unlikely genre duo of thriller and comedy. Netflix has also listed Spiderhead as belonging to the sci-fi category. The film is set to carry a high-profile cast, with many who have previously starred in noteworthy movies.
While Spiderhead is a Netflix original, the film has its foundation in a short story written by American author George Saunders. The author’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, GQ, and Harper’s. Netflix has a steady track record of basing its original productions on written texts and has gone on to adapt both works of fiction and nonfiction into film. Despite the challenges which come with adaptations, Netflix has a successful list of film adaptations under its belt, including All the Bright Places, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, The Fundamentals of Caring, Bridgerton, and 1922. Given this, audiences can hold on to a substantial amount of hope for the success of Spiderhead.
Here’s what we know about the upcoming movie so far.
Spiderhead: The Plot
The official description for the film via Netflix reads:
“A prisoner in a state-of-the-art penitentiary begins to question the purpose of the motion-controlling drugs he’s testing for a pharmaceutical genius”
Given that Spiderhead is based on the 2010 short story by George Saunders, titled “Escape From Spiderhead,” the film carries the same dystopian feel of the source text. Inmates in the penitentiary are required to wear a surgically attached device that releases dosages of drugs into the systems of the inmates. Spiderhead is labeled as a space where the imprisoned are free to be themselves. As such, jail cells and prison bars are nonexistent in the penitentiary. Instead, the trailer for Spiderhead gives audiences a glimpse into a state-of-the-art, automated, technologically oriented facility.
However, are prisoners really “free?” Spiderhead explores the narrative of what comes out of pushing the boundaries of free will to their limits. When Steve Abnesti, the visionary pharmaceutical genius who administers the drugs, continually pushes the limits of free will, things take a sharp turn. With Abnesti’s mission to make the world a better place, despite the increasingly chaotic behavior of the inmates due to Abnesti’s emotion-altering drug administration, the plot of Spiderhead becomes one of chaos despite its futuristic quality.
Spiderhead: The Cast & Crew
The cast of Spiderhead includes Chris Hemsworth, who plays the almost mad scientist persona of Steve Abnesti, Miles Teller as Jeff, and Jurnee Smollett, as Lizzy. Hemsworth is arguably best known for his role of Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Teller has previously acted in movies such as Fantastic Four, The Spectacular Now, and the Divergent franchise. Smollett has appeared in films such as Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey and Eve’s Bayou. Additional cast members include Mark Paguio, Tess Haubrich, Nathan Jones, and Charles Parnell.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly about his character as Jeff and his relationship with Abnesti, Miles Teller said:
“Jeff works closely with, and sort of forms a friendship with, Abnesti.I wanted to portray that sense of trust in the beginning to help show that there’s a real earnestness and sincerity on Abnesti’s part toward helping everybody. He has a soft spot for Jeff, and I think their dynamic is really entertaining to watch.”
Giving insight into Lizzy, played by Smollett, the director said, “She has a more mysterious past. She is drawn to Jeff, and they have a very close relationship, but where he kind of wears his heart on his sleeve, she hides her pain with a cheerful persona.” The director also clarified that Hemsworth’s character Abnesti has “noble intentions,” but the genius visionary also has “some darker things lurking underneath the surface.”
Spiderhead is directed by Joseph Kosinski, with the script for the movie being written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. Kosinski directed Oblivion and Only The Brave. Reese also has some commendable films under his belt, including Deadpool and Zombieland.
Kosinski had some interesting comments on the soundtrack for the movie. Viewers of the trailer for Spiderhead soon realize that the almost upbeat, cheerful soundtrack of the movie contrasts starkly with the sinister plot of the film. Talking to EW, Kosinski said:
“The idea of the soundtrack came while I was sitting in a dentist chair. I was listening to something like Christopher Cross while getting a tooth drilled. It felt interesting for Abnesti to create this air of relaxation and good times in a facility that’s doing something much more nefarious.”
Spiderhead: Release Date
The film was in pre-production status in October 2020 and was marked complete in March 2022. Spiderhead is set to release on Netflix on June 17, 2022.
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