We gotta admit, we love our dystopian movies. “The Matrix”, “Gattaca”, “The Fifth Element”, “Minority Report”, “The Hunger Games”, and the more recent “Divergent” series all hold a very special place in our hearts.
Directed by Drake Doremus (“Like Crazy”, “Douchebag”), “Equals” tells the story of 2 people infected with a disease that regains their ability of compassion and emotion in a dystopian world where emotions don’t exist.
Think Romeo and Juliet, and forbidden love.
The plot is as follows:
“In a futuristic dystopian/utopian society, human emotions and most illnesses have been eradicated and everyone lives in peace. But when a new disease named S.O.S. surfaces, everything changes for illustrator Silas (played by Nicholas Hoult). He becomes an outcast once infected, but is drawn to his writer co-worker Nia (played by Kristen Stewart), who is also infected but hiding her condition. Their secret romance continues to develop, but when a cure to the disease is found, their relationship and their ability to feel emotion is threatened. With the help of other infected citizens, they develop a potential escape plan, but after Nia receives a conception summons their plan begins to unravel. In the end they go through with their escape plan, as it is implied that the cure did not completely eradicate Silas’ feelings for Nia.”
The movie is now slated for a limited release in the US on 15th July 2016. What’s truly curious is that while an international release date hasn’t been confirmed, “Equals” was actually filmed way back in 2014 – a year after “Warm Bodies” for Nicholas and 2 years after the final installment of “Twilight” for Kristen Stewart.
Believe it or not!
Here are some other fun facts about the film that you might not have known about:
1. Well, jumpstarting the production certainly took a while
It was announced way back in October 2013 that the critically-acclaimed Drake Doremus will be directing “Equals”, with Nicholas Hoult and Kristen Stewart starring. But news about the rest of the cast (Kate Lyn Sheil, Aurora Perrineau, Jacki Weaver) only slowly trickled in almost a year later and production for the movie didn’t start until August 2014. “Equals” then had its world premiere on 5th September 2015 at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival.
2. Director Drake Doremus knew exactly who he needed to cast
On why he chose to cast Nicholas and Kristen, Drake Doremus said, “I met (Nicholas Hoult) through mutual friends of mine…and modelled the character Silas after him. I then met Kristen (Stewart) and thought she was really unique. (I felt) there was something in her that hadn’t been tapped into yet. And I think the performance in the movie is a very special one. It’s raw and beautiful.” Drake also revealed that Nicholas’ (then) girlfriend, Jennifer Lawrence, was given the movie’s script to read but it later “became evident” that Nicholas and Kristen would have “great chemistry.”
3. Filming for “Equals” kicked off in Japan in August 2014
Immediately after Drake Doremus, Kristen Stewart, Nicholas Hoult, and producer Michael Pruss attended a press conference in Tokyo in August 2014 to announce the start of the film, production kicked off in Japan, a country known for its minimal architecture (co-producer Ann Ruark said that it best expresses that “Utopian vision”) and also one of Drake’s favourite places in the world. While they were there, Nicholas and Kristen were spotted hanging out together off set, eating a sushi meal at the Tsukiji Market (a fish market) in Tokyo, Japan.
4. Production then moved to various beautiful locations in Singapore
After wrapping up filming in Japan, production was then moved to Singapore for another 3 weeks. “Equals” was shot in Singapore at various locations including Henderson Waves at Southern Ridges, One North MRT station, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Marina Barrage, and Reflections at Keppel Bay condominium. Some of the most beautiful shots in the trailer were in fact taken on location in Singapore. Needless to say, there were also many accounts of fans “bumping” into them on the island, including this one. Filming wrapped up in Singapore on 26th September 2014.
5. Nicholas Hoult broke up with Jennifer Lawrence because she was jealous over Kristen Stewart?
Because Nicholas and Kristen were photographed together a lot in both Japan and Singapore on their days off, it sparked rumours that they were “more than co-stars”. When Nicholas and Jennifer split, many assumed that Kristen had something to do with it. However, Jennifer addressed the rumours of alleged jealousy long before she and Nicholas broke up. She told Marie Claire magazine, “There was something in a magazine, and I was like, ‘Oh, my God, that’s hilarious,’ because Kristen and I are friends. I actually texted her a picture of it and was like, ‘Just so you know, this is absolutely true,’.” Jennifer and Nicholas later reunited on the set of “X-Men: Apocalypse”.
Watch the trailer below:
“Equals”, which also stars Guy Pearce as Jonas, Jacki Weaver as Bess, Toby Huss as George, David Selby as Leonard, Kate Lyn Sheil as Kate, Rebecca Hazlewood as Zoe, Aurora Perrineau as Iris, and Claudia Kim as The Collective (voice), is slated for a limited release in the US on 15th July 2016.