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With so many studios building their business around franchises capable of producing perpetual sequels, it's a rare enough thing these days to find a truly original idea at the movies. However, a new film with Rooney Mara and Robert Redford sounds like it fits the bill. Unsurprisingly, Netflix just scooped it up. Next year the streaming service will release The Discovery, a love story in which the afterlife is proven to exist.
In a single sentence, the description makes it sound like a remake of Robin Williams' What Dreams May Come, however, upon closer examination the film sounds very different and truly unique. According to a press release sent by Netflix, The Discovery is about the actual scientific discovery that the afterlife is real. Robert Redford will play the scientist who makes the discovery in question. Jason Segel will play Redford's son, a man who begins to fall in love with a woman named Isla, played by Rooney Mara. Isla is described as having a tragic past, so we can assume that the existence of the afterlife will play into that in some way. The film was written and directed by Charlie McDowell, who previously worked with Mara -- his current girlfriend -- on The One I Love.
Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos says of the project:
To describe the story as original doesn't begin to capture the world that Charlie has created that will envelop you. Our global viewers are going to love this film.
The other interesting thing about the film is that it will be set one year after the discovery of the afterlife has been made. This means that the movie won't be about the upheaval that would surely be part of any such discovery, but rather, it will be set in a time where the world has begun to come to terms with the idea. This makes writer-director Charlie McDowell's idea sound even more intriguing. Most of us can probably imagine, to some degree, the drama that would be caused if tomorrow somebody said they had found evidence of the afterlife. Trying to imagine a world where that knowledge is normal feels even more bizarre. How would the way people live their lives change if everybody knew the afterlife was real? Would religion become stronger, or would it completely fall apart? We're going to guess, as this ultimately sounds like a science fiction movie, that whatever form the afterlife takes, it probably doesn't adhere to the ideas of any single religion.
As the idea of an afterlife is a fairly universal concept, it's clear that Netflix sees this as a potentially huge film for them, considering their global reach. The streaming service can drop The Discovery in living rooms all over the world in an instant and Netflix sees the subject matter as being globally accessible.
What do you think of The Discovery? Does this sound like something you'd like to see? Netflix will release the movie via their online service, and in a limited theatrical release, sometime in 2017.