With COVID-19 ruling over the entire world right now, it won’t come as a surprise if we find filmmakers and artists use this situation as inspiration for their work. But what if someone already had this seed of thought even before we were afflicted by this pandemic? Yes, Anand Gandhi is one such director who has been working on a science fiction story about a novel pandemic.
Titled Emergence, the film has been in development for the last five years. The story follows four scientists, as they race against a deadly pandemic to save the world from devastation. Now, this has turned out to be eerily prophetic considering our current situation outside owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
[Earlier] we had planned to give information about the nature of a pandemic [through the film]. Now that we all know what it’s like to be in the midst of one, I don’t have to educate the audience about its nuances. So, we have had to make some changes in the script. I can directly take the audience to the understanding of host behaviour manipulation of a parasite. The idea that our microbiome informs our behaviour is better understood now than ever before. I want to use a pandemic setting as a deeper investigation into the nature of human identity and social behaviour
It’s unfortunate that I took so long to write it. I wish Irrfan could have been a part of it. Sushant is a dear friend, and I always work on the assumption that he will be part of what I create. I also have Australian actor Hugo Weaving in mind. Most importantly, I also need four women actors for the principal cast.
He even took to his Instagram after Irrfan’s demise to release a video of the actor in conversation with other entrepreneurs as part of Anand’s film project.
Initially set in 2020, the director has now decided to unfold the story in 2025. Emergence is set to go on floor next year.