While losing Anton Yelchin was a sad day for any number of reasons, here’s one more: a year after Yelchin worked with filmmaker David Karlak to produce the independent science-fiction short Rise, the film will be adapted into a feature series. According to The Hollywood Reporter (via iO9), two independent producers recently signed on to adapt the popular science-fiction short Rise into a feature film. What should have been a celebrated accomplishment for both director and star is now somewhat tempered by the sadness of his passing.

Here’s what producer Johnny Lin had to say about the project:

Brian and I are extremely excited to have an opportunity to build a film franchise based on David Karlak’s wildly popular short. I hope this is the start to a long-lasting financing and producing relationship.

Rise is set in a dystopian 2043, when years of conflict between humanity and robots have led to the wholesale slaughter  —  or “recall,” as Rufus Sewell’s character prefers to say  —  of artificial life forms. One android, played by Yelchin, has taken it upon himself to lead the rebellion, and Rise serves as a jumping off point for where the feature film might go. Loaded with images and ideas lifted from a dozen different science-fiction movies, Rise certainly benefits from its political subtext. The difference between artificial and natural intelligence is seen to be purely arbitrary, much like the other differences that divide us.

Despite the film’s impressive polish, director David Karlak is something of an untested quality in Hollywood, having previously only worked on a handful of horror films and shorts. As The Hollywood Reporter notes, Karlak had also previously sold a pitch for “supernatural action film” Outliers to 20th Century Fox in 2013, though nothing had come of that film since. Either way, Karlak is the perfect example of a writer and filmmaker who has put in his time behind the scenes in Hollywood. Now that his dues are finally paid, here’s hoping he makes the most of his shot. Fingers crossed that he finds a career more similar to the Wachowskis than, say, Neill Blomkamp.

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