By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood June 12, 2014 at 1:16PM
Yes, we have another dystopian movie coming up. But instead of a being based on a young adult novel and starring Shailene Woodley, this one's an original starring Kristen Stewart. In Drake Doremus's romance "Equals," Stewart and Nicholas Hoult play young lovers in a romance by Nathan Parker, set in a society where emotions have supposedly been eradicated.
Just ahead of the stateside opening of David Michôd's Cannes hit "The Rover," Guy Pearce ("Memento") is joining Stewart and Hoult. Doremus (“Like Crazy”) previously worked with Emmy-winner Pearce ("Mildred Pierce") on “Breathe In.” Filming starts in August in Japan and Singapore.
In "Equals," Stewart plays Nia, who lives in a future society called The Collective, where the inhabitants, called Equals, live calm, well-ordered, peaceful lives. There's no greed, poverty, violence--and no emotion. But a new illness has cropped up: SOS, or Switched-On-Syndrome, which activates in its victims a range of emotions: depression, sensitivity, fear, and love. Get the disease and you are clapped in The Den. When Silas (Hoult) is infected, he becomes an outcast, but he meets Nia, who is able to understand what he’s going through and to hide her feelings. They discover a connection and fall in love.
UTA Independent Film Group arranged financing and will sell the North American rights; foreign sales company Mister Smith Entertainment sold the film in 35 territories out of Cannes. The Scott Free film is produced by Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer, Ann Ruark, and Jay Stern and Chip Diggins of LA entertainment venture capital fund and film production company Route One, which is financing the movie, and executive produced by Mike Pruss, Lee Jea Woo, Choi Pyung Ho and Russell Levine.