The 1998 neo-noir Dark City is being revisited for a new project, with writer/director Alex Proyas confirming that he’s working on a TV series set in the world of the sci-fi dystopia. The filmmaker confirmed that the project is in its early stages, though his new short Mask of the Evil Apparition is streaming as part of the Popcorn Frights Film Festival and takes place in the same universe as Dark City, giving fans a better idea of how new concepts can be explored in that world. While the film might not have been a major financial success at the time, it has developed a passionate cult following over the years.
“Dark City right now is really an intriguing one to me because we’re developing a series, a Dark City series,” Proyas confirmed during the festival’s Q&A, per Bloody Disgusting. “We’re in the very early stages [of the project] but I’m having to reanalyze in order to construct a new story. I’m having to go back and kind of jog my memory as to what we actually did and what I think worked and what I think didn’t work and reevaluate my own film, so that’s been a very interesting experience as well which I’ve not done before.”
The original film focuses on a man with amnesia who is accused of murder, forcing him to piece together the events that resulted in the accusation, which leads to the discovery of otherworldly beings known as “Strangers” who come from another planet and use human corpses as their hosts.
While it might not have been a major success at the time, just a year after its release, The Matrix landed in theaters and became a global phenomenon. The films are compared to one another quite often, not only for tonal and narrative similarities, but due to having even shared some of the same sets. In 2008, Proyas was able to oversee and release a director’s cut, which includes 15 minutes of new footage, as well as extended scenes and structural tweaks.
“It tested very poorly and I was forced to do certain things I didn’t agree with and we made good to a certain extent in the director’s cut,” the filmmaker pointed out. “Because you couldn’t completely resalvage it. The whole point of a director’s cut is the illusion that we resalvage what we’ve done originally. But you can never do that. Often, it’s just impossible. In those days we shot on [negatives] and the neg’s being cut. And it’s been cut in a certain way and it’s very, very hard to go right back to what you originally designed. So you do like a hodgepodge version of it. Certainly, it’s closer to my original conception than the theatrical cut was, but it is still not exactly what my original conception was. You would have to go right back to dailies to do something like that.”
Stay tuned for details on the Dark City series.
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