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'Bourne Identity' director Doug Liman is making a VR action miniseries

'Bourne Identity' director Doug Liman is making a VR action miniseries

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Doug Liman — director of The Bourne Identity, Edge of Tomorrow, and Swingers — is now working on a six-part virtual reality miniseries. Invisible is described as an action-adventure series about a Manhattan family with supernatural powers, which may or may not include invisibility. Dallas Buyers Club screenwriter Melisa Wallack will write the series, and the episodes are being directed by Liman and two lower-profile filmmakers, Michael Litwak and Jerome Sable. They're partnering with virtual reality cinema company Jaunt, which has worked on VR short films with ABC News, Paul McCartney, and the Sundance Institute.

While we've seen an exponential growth in virtual reality video over the last two years, VR narrative film has been in short supply. That's started to change, though. Studio Wevr is currently running its interactive video series Gone on the Gear VR, and Grease director Randal Kleiser is working on a 12-part sci-fi series called Defrost. Invisible, for its part, is starting with a potentially fun premise:

The series will unravel the secrets of a prominent New York City family, the Ashlands, blessed with a supernatural gift passed down through generations. As capacity of their extraordinary ability continues to grow in power, the birth of an exceptional new child draws public interest and their family secret teeters on the brink of becoming exposed.

On the other hand, Liman also directed the critically panned sci-fi film Jumper, and making a VR series at all is still risky. Generally presented in a series of five- or ten-minute videos, episodic VR stories can be rushed and unsatisfying. It's difficult to present a compelling arc in each clip, especially when it has to be engrossing enough to justify demanding a viewer's full attention — unlike a web series, there's no way to play Invisible on a background tab at work. But it's also an ambitious step over slice-of-life documentaries or self-contained short films.

There's no release date for Invisible, but it's supposed to premiere "later this year" on the Gear VR and Jaunt's Android and iOS apps, which support both Google Cardboard and non-VR 360-degree video.