What happens then when the worst parts of human nature creep into this sterile scenario? What becomes of the mission when this young crew starts to need stimulation? When they uncover carnal desires? Voyagers, like a modern day Lord of the Flies among the stars, poses questions about our ability to be selfless in the name of a future we’ll never see.
Before the final trailer drops on Tuesday, March 16, check out the gallery below to see exclusive images from this new sci-fi potboiler…
Voyagers: Colin Farrell Sci Fi Thriller First Look
In a discussion with Voyagers director Neil Burger, IGN learned a bit more about the film’s characters and the some of core themes at work in this story of intergalactic paranoia. “To me the movie is about human nature in a vacuum,” Burger explained. “Who are we at our core, at our essence. Are we good? Are we evil? Do we mean well? Are we predators?”
Though the original plan for the mission in Voyagers was to have the kids to travel unsupervised, Colin Farrell’s Richard has some adjustments made. “Richard is the behavioral psychologist who’s really their one contact while they’re still on Earth,” Burger said, “and he becomes so connected with them that he makes the case that he needs to go with them. He doesn’t want to leave them. And in a way, that’s the downfall of the voyage because even though he does it with the best of intentions he is kind of the fly in the ointment.”
Yes, despite meaning well, Richard is keeping a few secrets. One is the secret ingredient in the crew’s blue-tinted drink. “Richard brings with him certain knowledge that they’re not supposed to have and they’re able to sense his deception. He’s not lying, per se, but he’s not telling them everything. For their own good, is his opinion. He’s pure goodness, which is a rare thing for any authority figure in a movie.”
Tye Sheridan’s Christopher and Fionn Whitehead’s Zac are two crew members who begin to suspect they’re being experimented on. “They start off as brothers, or soul mates in a way,” Burger shared. “They have an innate rebelliousness and sense that all is not well on the ship. They have a certain type of defiance. But I think Christopher struggles with it more. He has more of a moral center while Zac has a really big appetite for life and for pleasure. And when they go off the blue drink they set their sights on the same young woman (Lily-Rose Depp’s Sela) and it becomes this age-old story of conflict. It’s about power and control and none of them have ever had any control. It drives a wedge between them all.”
“Sela herself is someone who, in a way, is trying to understand her place in the universe,” Burger added. “She doesn’t know why these guys are competing with each other. Or if she does know, she has no interest in that. She has no thirst for power.”
As tension mounts aboard the star-cruiser, the increasingly emotional crew finds themselves stuck inside a clinical, all-white prison of sorts, their sterile surroundings juxtaposing the violence bubbling under the surface. “I wanted to make the ship very real and based on certain designs for interplanetary travel, and not to be a fantasy. You know, not to be a shopping mall in space. I almost think of it as this is a submarine movie and that they’re just confined in this place.”
“There’s just enough there to support life and sustain them on their trip,” he continued. “I wanted to design it in the most minimal way to highlight the reality of the space voyage. I also wanted to focus on the human nature and create this very simple look with white walls and these small really tight compartments connected to these hallways. There’s nothing flashy about it. It was to make it all feel like a laboratory. Like they’re laboratory rats in a maze.”
Watch the teaser trailer for Voyagers here…
Here in 2021, the idea of going stir-crazy inside a confined quarantined space holds new meaning. Burger, who wrote Voyagers a few years back, and wrapped production on the project at the end of 2019, found the film becoming even more relevant after the past year. “I was writing a cautionary tale about fear and fearmongering and leaders manipulating the truth in order to get what they want, which then ends up in mob violence,” he said. “So on top of the confinement aspects, there’s also this sense of what happened after the election with the crazy violence in Washington and how it was all stoked. Suddenly that also came to the front as well.”
Despite scientists’ attempts to prevent it, the young crew in Voyagers winds up facing the same existential crucibles as everyone else. As Burger explained, “Why should we do this? We’re all gonna die in the end anyway? Why shouldn’t we do what we want, when we want? These characters are never going to see the planet. They’re laying groundwork for a different generation and so how do you get your head around that and how can you be okay with that? And on a purely day-to-day basis, why do I have to treat my fellow man with respect? Why should I be good?”
“In a way they’re developing their culture. They’ve grown up devoid of culture. You can think of them as pure humans, in a way. It’s like they’re all nature and no nurture. They cultivate this crew but in order for them to not miss wide open spaces and sunlight and different relationships, they raise them in this setting similar to the place they’re going to live in and travel in. They have no cultural baggage. They are creating their story now. One that’s going to be taught to others.”
Voyagers will premiere in theaters on April 9.