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'Akira Project' Director Teases a New Cyberpunk Action Film [Premiere]

Watch the first eight minutes of 'Temple,' and help turn Nguyen-Anh Nguyen's film into a reality.

by Beckett Mufson
Dec 4 2015, 1:55pm

Images courtesy the artist

In 2014 the internet got together and created a spectacular live-action tribute to the anime classic, Akira. Now Nguyen-Anh Nguyen, who helmed the project, is constructing his own futuristic, transhumanist universe for a film called Temple. Today, Nguyen teases Temple on The Creators Project with an official clip from the movie. It follows a so far nameless protagonist who apparently spends his time fighting the growing breed of cyborgs that dominate his corrupt, angst-inducing dystopian city, culminating in a vicious martial arts showdown.

The synopsis is thus: "2045 A.D. Cybernetically enhanced beings are in control of society. A new genetic disease is making humans reject their own organs, forcing one man to steal cybernetic implants from others to survive."

Osric Chau, formerly of sci-fi TV show Supernatural, RZA's hip-hop kungfu epic The Man With the Iron Fists, and the aforementioned Akira Project, plays the lead. He channels his considerable acting chops and extensive martial arts training into picture-perfect moodiness and dynamic brawls that look straight out of your favorite sci-fi anime. As can be expected, these pillars of cyberpunk are integral to Nguyen's creative process. "Akira was a tremendous (and scarring) influence in my life, and I grew up with Cyberpunk, so of course Temple is heavily influenced by both," he tells The Creators Project. 

That goes double for his experience crowdsourcing the live action tribute. "When I did Akira, it was really a huge leap of faith. We were doing things in a fairly ambitious, somewhat arrogant, way and were not fully sure of how long or complicated it was gonna get. For Temple, I was better prepared and knew what to expect," he says. "However, we got a bit too carried away again... for example we had planned for only 6-10 VFX shots on paper, not wanting to go through another year and a half of post-production like on Akira, but we ended up with 65 shots—again." That's a huge amount of work, which is why Nguyen now needs your help.

Today Nguyen premieres the first eight minutes of Temple as they now exist, but between running camera rental and post-production company CineGround—and performing surgery as a practicing dentist—he's spread too thin to make Temple into a feature film on his own. He's enlisted friends and colleagues from Blackmagic Design, Second Tomorrow Studios, and sound designers and composers at Cult Nation and Kannibalen Records to create the team that wants to put Temple on the big screen. That's why he's also launching a Kickstarter to both fund the project and prove that there's an audience out there for this kind of thing. "We are getting pretty good at doing things on limited resources, but for an ambitious project such as this, we would love to have a more sizeable budget," he says.

Check out the teaser for Temple—which could honestly exist as it's own independent short film—below.

Stay up to date with Temple on the official website.

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