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Quibi orders scripted survival series

Shortform video platform Quibi has greenlit a scripted series starring Tye Sheridan (Ready Player One) described as a “next generation survival movie.”

Steven Soderbergh

Wireless will see Sheridan play a self-obsessed college student stranded in the Colorado mountains whose only hope for survival is the tool he has spent his whole life learning to use: his smartphone.

Set inside the car he has crashed and with the quickly dying phone that is now his lifeline, the project is billed as a movie “about the lies we tell through our phones, and the lies our phones tell us.”

The survival series is created and executive produced by Jack Seidman and Zach Wechter and will also be executive produced by Steven Soderbergh, Michael Sugar, Cathy Konrad and Danny Sherman.

Wechter will direct the series, which begins production this week. Christian Heuer, Pickpocket, Treeline Film and Propagate are producing the series.

“Wireless explores the personal relationship we all have with our devices and brings life-and-death stakes to the choices we make in the digital world,” said Wechter.

“We’ve been designing stories specifically to be viewed on phones with our mobile filmmaking collective Pickpocket, and I couldn’t be more excited to have partners as dedicated to experimenting in the form as we are in Quibi and the rest of our incredible collaborators on this project.”

“When I saw their short, Pocket, I thought, ‘Could be fun to do something with these filmmakers,’ and when I talked to Jeffrey Katzenberg I thought, ‘Could be fun to do something with Quibi.’ That my musings became a reality with Wireless is surprising, exciting and further proof of my insane good fortune,” said Soderbergh.

Sheridan is represented by WME, Mosaic and Stone, Genow, Smelkinson, Binder & Christopher. Wechter is represented by UTA, Thruline Entertainment and Ziffren Brittenham. Seidman is represented by Thruline Entertainment.

Quibi launches in the US on April 6 next year and has been steadily building up a slate of shortform projects since being announced by Katzenberg and Meg Whitman.

The firm has so far raised US$1bn in funding from investors including Disney, 21st Century Fox, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures Entertainment, WarnerMedia, Liberty Global and China’s Alibaba Group.

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