Roadside Attractions and Vertical have joined forces for the sixth time to acquire the North American rights to Sophie Barthes’ The Pod Generation, the winner of the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize at Sundance 2023. This futuristic fable, set in the very near future, explores a world where AI reigns supreme and technology has replaced nature in almost every aspect of life.
The film follows Rachel (Emilia Clarke) and Alvy (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a couple who are eager to start a family. Rachel, a rising executive at a tech company, is given the opportunity to share pregnancy with her partner through mobile, artificial wombs, or pods, at the Womb Center. Alvy, a botanist and environmental purist, is skeptical but decides to take a leap of faith for Rachel. This decision sets the couple on a wild ride on their tech-paved path to parenthood.
The film is directed by Sophie Barthes, known for her previous works Madame Bovary and Cold Souls, and features a star-studded cast, including Emmy-nominated Emilia Clarke, Academy Award-nominated Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rosalie Craig, Vinette Robinson, and Jean-Marc Barr. The film is scheduled for a Summer 2023 theatrical release.
According to the Co-Presidents of Roadside Attractions, Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff, Barthes’ ability to create films that use alternate realities to reflect our present and future makes her stand out as a filmmaker. The performances delivered by Clarke and Ejiofor are lauded as being incredible and perfectly balance humor and heart. Meanwhile, Vertical Partner Peter Jarowey remarked that Sophie’s story could become a reality sooner than we think as AI becomes more prevalent in our daily lives. He added that the film is captivating and will leave audiences talking long after they leave the theater.
Sophie Barthes expressed her excitement at being able to have a theatrical release, stating that Roadside Attractions and Vertical have made this dream possible. She added that the film could not have found a better home, and she is thrilled to embark on this adventure with such a dedicated, innovative, and experienced team. Barthes noted that the film creates a playful and puzzling futuristic world that she can’t wait to share with audiences on the big screen.
The film is produced by Geneviève Lemal, Yann Zenou, Nadia Kamlichi, and Martin Metz, while Emilia Clarke, Sophie Barthes, David Bensadoun, Paul Nelson, Adrian Politowski, Nessa McGill, Sierra Garcia, Nathanaël Karmitz, and Beniamin Mincu are the executive producers. Andrij Parekh serves as cinematographer, Clement Price-Thomas as production designer, Ron Patane and Olivier Bugge-Coutté as editors, Emmanuelle Youchnovski as costume designer, and Sacha Galperine and Evgueni Galperine as composers. The film’s casting is handled by Dixie Chassay, Mathias Sourbon, and Nicolas Ronchi.
Vertical’s Senior Vice President of Acquisitions, Tony Piantedosi, and Peter Jarowey negotiated the deal on behalf of Vertical, while Roadside Attractions’ Vice President of Acquisitions, Angel An, and Co-Presidents Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff negotiated the deal on behalf of Roadside Attractions. CAA Media Finance and MK2 Films negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers, while MK2 Films is responsible for handling international sales.