The Hunger Games co-producer Bryan Unkeless plots Web3 sci-fi universe
The Future. Bryan Unkeless’ Clubhouse Pictures and NFT-project investor and producer Metaversal are teaming up on the sci-fi universe Runner. The project’s first release will launch this month as a comic — with ambitions to eventually expand into TV and video games — followed by a profile picture (PFP) drop later in the year. Like Kevin Smith’s KillyRoy Was Here sequel, the Runner team could one day incorporate the thousands of PFPs into the universe’s expanding multimedia franchise. Play your PFP in a Runner game? Don’t say it’s not possible.
The expanding frontier
Clubhouse and Metaversal are building a sci-fi story that doesn’t just cross the universe, but nearly every entertainment format.
- Created by writer Blaise Hemingway (Vampires vs. the Bronx) and director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan (Kate), Runner is set on the planet Omega, where the universe’s best drivers race and compete for power.
- The multimedia project is starting as a comic book, which goes on sale later this month for $25.
- Each comic purchase acts as an access key to the Runner’s NFT PFP drop later this year, which Unkeless told Decrypt is a way to “start creating specific identities within our world.”
- The comic is also a pass to Runner’s party at NFT.NYC later this month.
- The first 1,000 buyers can also claim a “First Edition Collector’s NFT,” which comes with perks (like access to an exclusive Discord channel and invite-only events).
The project will use LayerZero Omnichain, which Bryce Anderson, a producer at Clubhouse, says will allow NFT holders to move their PFP from one blockchain to another… but just like the driver in Runner who use wormholes to get ahead in races, the PFP may change when it moves from chain to chain. A perfect marriage of tech and story.
While Runner isn’t the first sci-fi story to enlist Web3 (Prospect filmmakers Zeek Earl and Chris Caldwell introduced The Fringe a few months ago), there’s no doubt it represents the most high-profile roster of Hollywood talent for such a project. Bryan Unkeless knows a thing or two about crafting franchises, having produced DC’s Birds of Prey and co-produced The Hunger Games franchise. Runner may be able to bridge the gap between Web3 being a curiosity in Hollywood and being a mainstream storytelling tool for future blockbusters.
But Unkeless and team are not alone in evangelizing the benefits — community interaction, decentralized hierarchy, creative control — of Web3, with everyone from Mila Kunis to Roman Coppola experimenting with the tech. It may take more work on the front-end, but success in Web3 ensures that creatives are the ones (pun intended) in the driver’s seat.