Interview by Paul Salfen
Vertical Entertainment will release the Sci-Fi / Action film SKYLI
SKYLINES is the third installment of the Skyline franchise and stars Lindsey Morgan (“The 100,” Inside Game), Jonathan Howard (Thor: The Dark World, Godzilla: King of the Monsters), Rhona Mitra (Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, Doomsday), Alexander Siddig (“Gotham,” “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”) and James Cosmo (Braveheart, “Game of Thrones”). The film was directed and written by Liam O’Donnell (Portals, Beyond Skyline).
SYNOPSIS: When a virus threatens to turn earth-dwelling friendly alien hybrids against humans, Captain Rose Corley (Lindsey Morgan) must lead a team of elite soldiers on a mission to the alien’s world in order to save what’s left of humanity.
They made another Skyline movie!?” It’s legitimately crazy, I know. It’s even hard for me to believe we’ve made it this far in the ten years since Skyline was released. Though the independent invasion thriller was an unlikely success story at the global box office, some of the critical reactions were so negative at the time, I wasn’t sure I’d have a career a decade later, let alone a third entry in the franchise.
In 2017, we released my directorial debut Beyond Skyline which was somehow an even crazier and far more unlikely endeavor. Working with such a stellar cast, shooting alien carnage, and martial arts action on locations all around the world was my inner child’s fever dream come true. Better yet, the enthusiasm the sequel received from critics and fans alike left us energized and inspired to go make something even bolder. But even then a third entry seemed like a real long shot. Fortunately I’ve been lucky enough to partner with some very talented people along the way like our Producer Matthew Chausse who kept pushing me onward. So we developed the story for SKYLINES to pick up right where Beyond Skyline left off with Captain Rose Corley, played by Lindsey Morgan, and her hybrid brother Trent taking on the alien Armada.
The first time I saw Lindsey on screen I was immediately reminded of Beyond Skyline’s star Frank Grillo. They’re both very intense and authentic actors who bring credibility and capability to everything that they do. On Beyond Skylines, I only shot with Lindsey for a single day but right away I knew she could do it all. From owning quiet moments to herself to completely commanding the room and even cracking jokes with her eight foot tall alien co-star, I knew we had a hell of foundation to build the next chapter around.
Even though SKYLINES was made for a fraction of a big studio blockbuster, it would still be next to impossible to get an independent science fiction film of this size and scope made if it weren’t a sequel or existing IP. So we feel it is our responsibility to the genre community to make the absolute most of these opportunities, taking each film in new directions and mashing together new genres. For part three it only made sense for us to expand our horizons, venturing further into the post apocalyptic future, and farther across the galaxy to the alien home world known as Cobalt 1.
There’s honestly nothing I love more than an old fashioned space adventure where a rough and tumble team of badasses head to a hostile alien planet inhabited with vicious, hideous creatures lurking in every shadow. The challenge became: how could we make a film in the tradition of our favorites like Aliens, Starship Troopers, and Pitch Black while embarking on a new journey of self discovery for our super powered hero, Rose.
Thankfully our team of collaborators were more than up to the task. We were determined to take the lessons of the previous installments to heart, building more sets than ever before on our stages in beautiful Vilnius, Lithuania with production design out of Belgium. Our creature effects teams from Spain and the US enhanced our practical Pilot and Harvester creature suits. Our VFX and stunt teams from Germany and the UK collaborated on creating our new Shadow creatures, based on in camera performances. For the cinematography, we had the pleasure of working with Alain Duplantier from Paris, who created an entirely new stylized and colorful look for our universe.
Once again, we were beyond fortunate to bring together a cast of legendary actors (Alexander Siggid, Rhona Mitra, and James Cosmo) and beloved martial artists (Daniel Bernhardt, Cha-Lee Yoon, Yayan Ruhian) to come play in our slimy alien sandbox. In Jonathan Howard we found an incredibly talented and generous male lead who’s evolving relationship with Rose and Trent makes up the heart of the film. But in the end the movie rests squarely on the more than ready shoulders of Lindsey Morgan who’s layered and one hundred percent dedicated performance I could not be more proud of.
Despite all the hardships of finishing a film about an alien pandemic, in the middle of an actual pandemic, it’s been an absolute pleasure to bring this story to life. I hope you all enjoy your trip to Cobalt 1 and, who knows? Maybe there will be even more unlikely adventures in our future.
– Liam O’Donnell