KIMI: Exclusive First Trailer & Interview With Director Steven Soderbergh

After directing thrillers such as Contagion, Side Effects, Unsane and Kafka, director Steven Soderbergh returns to the genre with his upcoming film, KIMI, which will debut exclusively on HBO Max on February 10. Soderbergh teamed up with Spider-Man and Jurassic Park screenwriter David Koepp for the movie New Line, which stars Batman’s Zoë Kravitz and was made during the pandemic.

IGN can exclusively launch the trailer for KIMI, which can be viewed through the player above or the integration below. We also had a lengthy chat with Soderbergh about the film, the highlights of which can be found below.

The title of the film refers to a fictional Alexa / Siri-type voice-activated digital assistant called KIMI. He hears everything you say all the time, recording everything for a Big Brother type company. Kravitz plays Angela Childs, a vocal stream performer who overhears a murder on a recording she was analyzing. Angela is shaken after contacting her colleagues. Why are her employers reluctant to let her try to bring this to the attention of the authorities?

Movie fans can find echoes of Coppola’s conversation and Hitchcock’s back window in KIMI, influences Soderbergh was only too happy to confirm in his recent Zoom chat with IGN. “Oh absolutely. In terms of influence, these are two films that I love and watch over and over. And then, in this case, add a bit of Panic Room, and that’s the mix we were looking for, ”the Oscar winner said.

The influence of Panic Room is appropriate given that KIMI screenwriter David Koepp also wrote this David Fincher film. Indeed, as Soderbergh recalled, the project was born with Koepp, who told him the story a few years ago. It wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic hit that the real crime-inspired project finally saw the light of day:

“I like thrillers, in general. It’s the kind of movie that I like to watch. And so when the opportunity arises to make a thriller that has something underneath that prevents it from being single-use plastic, then I’m interested. So this kind of thing happened slowly, and then very quickly. A few years ago, when David Koepp was living in London, we had a drink when I was there. And he said, ‘Oh, have you read this story, this murder case where they think they recorded it on Alexa, and they try to use it in the litigation, in the criminal case? And the impression everyone got was that Amazon wasn’t very helpful. And so David said, “I’m thinking of an idea from a voice analysis specialist who works for one of these companies that has a listening device. And they think they heard something, and the company really wants her to let it go.

“And so I said,” It sounds like a great idea. It’s kind of a perfect premise for Hitchcock. And then I haven’t heard from him for a while. And just before New York’s lockdown for the first time, David and I saw each other again. And he said, “Are you still interested in that?” I am ready to write it. And I said, ‘Yes.’ And so he wrote it down during lockdown and handed it to me last fall. And There you go. “

Soderbergh and his team ran KIMI under COVID protocols last year. Signs of the pandemic will be evident in the film as some characters will be wearing masks in the scenes, and Kravitz Angela’s character is therefore agoraphobic, as Soderbergh explained, “[Angela] is truly an indoor cat. And so what we’ve all been through doesn’t really bother her because she’s drawn to staying home anyway. It’s kind of a part of her character that ends up being crucial for her to decide how badly she wants to pursue what she thinks is a bad incident. So it was difficult, when we were shooting in the spring, to judge where we would be when the film was released. ”

Soderbergh understood the risk of alienating some viewers by acknowledging the pandemic in his film: “You could make the point that people, for the most part, don’t want to watch something that it’s always happening in. They want to live in a world in which we have moved beyond that. So I totally understand that. In this case, it kind of added something to the story. And we had a lot of talk about “Wow, where are we going to be in a year?” And neither of us could have seen Omicron arrive in March or April of last year, but it turns out I kind of leaned in so we’re still in the space where masks are a problem. , just because I thought it was possible. So you see when she interacts with people, not everyone wears one, but clearly, it’s still a thing in the culture.

The pandemic, however, is not at the center of KIMI. Companies like Amazon and devices like Alexa are. “I’m just a little stunned that people allow these devices in their homes. The idea that it is only “on” when you talk to it and on is just ludicrous to me. I mean, the idea of ​​not having privacy, ”Soderbergh said. “There is no ‘get’ for me that would be worth it. I was interested in working with a story in which this is a central issue. Is it worth having any of these things in your home?

Soderbergh thinks “you should be” afraid of companies like Amazon: “These companies operate like governments and like countries, they are so big. As far as I know, there is no country economy that works like crap works at Apple right now. They are incredibly powerful influential entities. Ruled by people who are not elected and yet have arguably as much or more control over our daily lives than our government. It’s this kind of silent transfer of influence and power that has taken place over the past two decades. [that] is interesting to me. This invariably leads to consequences that no one could have foreseen, and as we know the law is so far behind what is really going on in the culture, that by the time they start to have hearings about it. , it’s too late.

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KIMI only debuts on HBO Max on February 10. In addition to Zoë Kravitz, the cast includes Jaime Camil, Erika Christensen, Derek DelGaudio, Robin Givens, Charles Halford, Devin Retray, Jacob Vargas and Rita Wilson.

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