The Pod Generation
Fatigue, odd food cravings, varicose veins, and stretch marks – while parenthood ain’t all it’s cracked up to be, what if men had to take out the trash and…carry a child for nine months? Likely to tackle philosophical, psychological and moral questions in one basket, Sophie Barthes will finally return behind the camera this coming March after an eight year absence. The US-based French filmmaker umbilical cord lassoed Emilia Clarke and Chiwetel Ejiofor for a sci-fi rom com that could, if all goes well, land on the fall festival circuit of Telluride, Venice, TIFF and/or NYFF. After Cold Souls (2009) and Madame Bovary (2014), Barthes’ line of thinking for The Pod Generation is the “idea of the artificial womb as either doom or liberation for women is inherently comedic material.” Quad’s Yann Zenou (The Death of Stalin) and Scope’s Geneviève Lemal (Annette) are producing and naturally, cinematographer-hubby Andrij Parekh is once again onboard for a project that should be filming in New York City but could easily film in France.
Gist: Set in a near future where AI is all the rage and nature is becoming a distant memory, the story revolves around Rachel (Clarke) and Alvy (Ejiofor), a New York couple who are ready to take their relationship to the next level and start a family. Rachel’s work gives them a chance to use a new tool developed by a tech giant, Pegasus, which offers couples the opportunity to share pregnancy on a more equal footing via detachable artificial wombs, or pods. Alvy, a botanist and devoted purist, has doubts, but his love for Rachel prompts him to take a leap of faith. And so begins the wild ride to parenthood in this brave new world.
Release Date/Prediction: We’re thinking this is comic relief material for a Telluride-Venice-Toronto showcase later this year.