Producer Rick McCallum Developing Lechowski's 'R´ha' Sci-Fi Feature
This is big news for Kaleb, and should be inspiring for any budding filmmakers slaving away at projects in their spare time. In January we featured a short sci-fi film called R´ha, written & directed & created by 22-year-old Kaleb Lechowski, which went on to become a huge online viral hit and landed Lechowski a foot in the door at Hollywood, with agents and meetings all over. As expected with most of these shorts, the rights were picked up for a feature, but there's a bit more to it this time. THR is reporting that former Star Wars producer Rick McCallum is developing the feature project, his first sci-fi since leaving Lucasfilm.
McCallum comments on the unique concept: "What inspires me and our team is that there are no humans whatsoever in the film, and yet Kaleb has come up with a world that is so engaging and so alive and so real that it really is very different from anything else I have seen in the sci-fi world." The plot of R'ha (watch below) involves a "member of an alien race being interrogated and tortured by a machine." It looks great, and has the potential to be a kick ass feature, but with the right budget. McCallum continues: "We want to make it as a European film, using VFX facilities from all over Central and Eastern Europe and Asia, and do it for a price that not only allows Kaleb total control of his unique vision, but is incomprehensible in the big-budget VFX world that we now live in!" Here is Lechowski's original short film if you haven't seen it yet:
In addition to Rick McCallum (whose last few producing credits are Red Tails and the Star Wars saga), the R'ha feature is being produced by Steve Tzirlin (from Lucasfilm, of Star Wars: Clone Wars) plus Raymond Brothers and Scott Glassgold of IAM Entertainment. They've hired Matthew Graham, who created the TV series "Life on Mars" and recently wrote for "Doctor Who", to write the screenplay. Beyond the tease we get in that short, the full story is about the alien (seen in the image above) and his race, called the R´ha, who "defend a cluster of solar systems from a menacing attack." The sci-fi short was featured prominently in our New Era of Sci-Fi is Upon Us editorial and I'm glad to see it end up with such strong support in Hollywood.
We'll be keeping a close watch on the development of the R'ha film, as it sounds like McCallum is planning to move forward with this sooner than later. For more on Kaleb Lechowski and this short, follow his Tumblr.