First Look: Sci-Fi Neo-Noir Thriller Franklyn
You may be wondering what in the hell that photo above is from?! Is it some new superhero or is it some new action movie or horror movie? The answer is it's a movie called Franklyn and that's Ryan Phillippe under the mask. He plays a character named Jonathan Preest, a masked vigilante detective, in this neo-noir thriller of sorts. The best way to describe what this movie is would be a combination of Dark City and V for Vendetta, but told through four intertwining stories set mostly in London and partially in Meanwhile City.
My own introduction to this movie came first from Rotten Tomatoes, which just completed a set visit. There, first time feature filmmaker Gerald McMorrow, who wrote and directed Franklyn, describes the confusing concept and plot.
"Franklyn is basically about four intertwining stories, three of which are based in contemporary London and one of which is based in a kind of parallel fantasy environment called Meanwhile City. Our hero in that strand is this sort-of masked vigilante detective who's the only atheist in Meanwhile City, played by Ryan Phillippe, who basically runs around trying to extract people from cults, has a big cynicism about the whole thing and hates The Ministry with a vengeance."
What is Meanwhile City? "It's this place which is sort-of run by a shadowy, religious uber-power called The Ministry who has decided, over the centuries, that as long as they can get their population to believe in something - anything - they can control them. People have faiths and religions based on strange things like The Seventh Day Manicurists and Washing Machine Street Preachers. Their doctrines and dogmas are all based on things like washing machine instructions."
If your eyebrow is still raised either in confusion or shock, here a few photos featuring Ryan Phillippe, Eva Green, and Sam Riley to calm your nerves. Who do the lovely Eva Green and talented Sam Riley play in Franklyn? Eva Green plays Amelia who's basically a much damaged, suicidal art student who's drifting in and out of her video art installations involving cry-for-help suicide attempts. Then you have Sam Riley who plays Milo, and he's probably much more normal and down-to-earth and he's basically just been jilted at the altar. That promotes him to suddenly try and search for the purity of his first love. And then the fourth story belongs to Bernard Hill who plays Peter, a church warden in Cambridge who comes down to London to find his homeless son. And all four strands come together at the end.
The last bit of explanation I can give that might help your understand is the tag phrase that's used on the small poster image above. It says, "Reality hasn't got a prayer." Maybe that doesn't help, but oh well. The rather confusing, twisted, and peculiar concept for this whole movie on top of the photo of Ryan Phillippe in the mask have gotten me pretty interested. I already feel that this is one of those movies like Equilibrium that has a great concept, some great action scenes and great actors, but is being kept absolutely quiet until it's already released (and too late). Hopefully that's not the case, because this might turn out to be pretty cool.
We'll try to find out more and bring you any more news, photos, footage, or anything else we can dig up on Franklyn. For now, if you're interested, let your friends know and start spreading the word. This needs to build some early-on buzz and that won't happen unless all of you start talking about it!