By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
When not busy with CW’s Arrow, Stephen Amell and cousin Robbie (in other projects) are having fun in the independent movie scene. Fans do not see them working together often, and I for one am curious in how the 2016 crowdfunded sci-fi thriller, Code 8, will expand from a short (available on Youtube, or continue reading to view here) into a full-blown movie set to release in 2019. Principal photography has begun in Toronto.
The original product offers fantastic social commentary worth examining. The feature-length version will no doubt add to it, but kicked up a notch with some top notch special effects work.
People interested in helping further the budget can contribute on Indiegogo. The original campaign reopened (so folks can own the DVD/Bluray of the original short or obtain a few of the perks like t-shirts, hoodies or autographed scripts) as production continues until mid-July, 2017, with a release (handled by Elevation Pictures in Canada) in 2019. with XYZ Films handling foreign sales.
From the press release:
Code 8 is set in a world where 4% of the population is born with varying supernatural abilities, but instead of being billionaires or superheroes, most “specials” face discrimination and live in poverty, often resorting to crime. In a world now carefully monitored by drones, guardians and the police, Connor Reed (Robbie Amell), a power-enabled young man, is struggling to pay for his ailing mother’s (Kari Matchett) health treatment. Fighting to earn enough money as a day labourer, Connor is lured into a lucrative criminal world by Garrett (Stephen Amell) who works for Lincoln City’s reigning drug lord, Marcus Sutcliffe (Greg Bryk). Garrett helps Connor sharpen his powers in order to execute a series of crimes on behalf of Sutcliffe, while a militarized police unit, lead by Agent Park (Sung Kang) and Agent Davis (Aaron Abrams), hunts them down.
Code 8 is an original feature film created and directed by Jeff Chan (Grace: The Possession) and starring cousins Robbie Amell (The Flash, The Duff) and Stephen Amell (Arrow, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows). Chan’s short film of the same name launched an internationally executed Indiegogo campaign in 2016, which quickly soared past its US$200,000 goal and raised more than US$1.7 million allowing for production to begin on the feature-length film.
The film also stars Sung Kang (the Fast and the Furious franchise), Kari Matchett (Maudie), Greg Bryk (Frontier) and Aaron Abrams (Hannibal).
“We’re thrilled to be starting production with such an extraordinary cast and creative team led by Jeff, and excited to bring a full-length Code 8 to the world,” said executive producers and stars Robbie and Stephen Amell.
Chan will direct and produce under his Colony Pictures banner, with Robbie and Stephen Amell executive producing along with Resolute Films’ Lee Kim, Blue Ice Pictures’ Mary Anne Waterhouse and Thick Water Entertainment.
Behind the scenes, Code 8 reunites Chan with several of his Code 8 short film collaborators including screenwriter and co-producer Chris Paré (Grace: The Possession), cinematographer Alex Disenhof (Fishing Without Nets) and visual effects house PlayFight VFX.
In addition to the Indiegogo funds raised, “Code 8” is financed by Telefilm Canada and the Fyzz Facility.