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H+ stands for “Humanity Plus,” or more accurately
“Transhumanism.” It also is the title of the new web series from producer Bryan
Singer. Fango was invited to be a part of a roundtable interview with Singer,
director Stewart Hendler, writer John Cabrera and fellow producers Jason Taylor
and Cosino De Tomamaso just before the trailer (which you can see below) made
its debut at last month’s San Diego Comic-Con.
The concept of the series is that approximately 20 years
from now, you can get an needle injection that implants a microscopic computer
system in your body that allows your brain to be on-line at all times. Shortly
after the implant becomes popular, millions of people around the world
mysteriously die, changing the landscape of the planet for the survivors who
either survived or didn’t take the implant.
The series has been specifically designed for viewing on the
web, to be aired there in 48 mini-episodes. As these become available, users
will be able to create “mash-up versions” so they can be watched in
chronological order or through a particular story arc of one of the characters.
Cabrera wrote the series so that it works as a single narrative that will
conclude at the end of the first season, but it has also been left open for the
possibility of future continuations.
“When it comes to technology, few of us know how it works
but all of us are dependent on it,” Singer says, calling into the roundtable
discussion via Skype (the irony of this, considering the subject matter, was
not lost on those involved). “A cell phone to your ear is just one step away
from an implant, so we are dealing with a very plausible future.”
The entire series was shot by a small but dedicated crew in
Chile, of all places. Taylor says this was done because “the show covers 12
people all over the world in a multicountry narrative—everything from
poverty-stricken Africa to rich Manhattan, and Chile has the diversity to cover
all these places all together.”
Director Hendler has a history in the genre, with recent
features like SORORITY ROW and WHISPER, and notes that while “this series is
more dark than straight horror, it has elements of horror” in its apocalyptic
Singer, of course, was the real muscle who got this project
off the ground. It was first launched in 2006 and was developed over the
subsequent few years, but it wasn’t until Singer got involved that it really
took off. After hits like the X-MEN movies, SUPERMAN RETURNS, THE USUAL
SUSPECTS and the HOUSE TV series, when Singer gets behind a project, people
tend to take it seriously. “Warner Bros. knows that I generally bring something
successful in to them, either moderately or sometimes more so,” he says.
Hendler agrees with this sentiment, adding, “You can’t underestimate the power
of someone like Bryan who believes in you and the project. That is all you can
ask for in a producer.”
All involved shared the common vision to design H+
specifically for the web. “Most web series tend to be shows that never got
picked up by a network, so the quality isn’t there,” Taylor says. “Although
this show has the capability to become a feature film or regular TV show, it
was always designed first and foremost as an on-line series.”
“I was attracted to the characters,” Singer adds. “The magic
of H+ is its structure, though. Because of its unique design, you can shuffle
it and watch it in many different orders. We made it so you could watch over
and over—so that there’s always something there that you might have missed in
the first viewing. It all comes back the audience loving the characters,
No specific details have yet been released regarding when H+
will be unleashed to the public, but the series is in postproduction now with a
fall 2011 release planned. Meanwhile, Singer has started work on his next
movie, a realistic retelling of the Jack and the beanstalk legend called JACK
THE GIANT KILLER, and has started preproduction on a feature version of
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA—but you don’t need a cyber-implant to know that already!
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