Having already been disrupted by the rise of mobile phones and streaming services like Netflix, many in Hollywood are keeping their eyes on virtual reality (for what it’s worth, Ashton Kutcher says it’s overhyped).
Sam Esmail, creator of the hit drama “Mr. Robot,” is one of the people in the “pro-VR” camp, releasing a well-received spinoff experience at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. On the latest episode of Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher, Esmail said he would do a project that’s entirely in VR — but he doesn’t want to.
“The idea is, you’re connecting all these things into one experience, one storytelling universe, if you want to call it that,” Esmail said. “And I’m not just talking about sequels and prequels and whatever, I’m talking about legitimately saying, ‘No, you will deepen your experience of the characters, the world, by going into these other places.’”
For “Mr. Robot,” those “other places” include the VR experience, a book called “Red Wheelbarrow” and a mobile game called “1.51exfiltrati0n.ipa.” Esmail stressed that these are not marketing gimmicks — they’re very much a part of the full story he intends to tell, and part of his vision for the future of entertainment.
“Eventually, someone’s going to come up with a big movie, a big whatever it is, a big universe,” he said. “And they’re going to start it from the beginning and they’re going to utilize every faction, every screen, and it’s going to be an entire experience, and it’s going to prove the model.”
He was inspired in part by his experience as a fan of the often-cryptic drama “Lost.” After each episode, he and his friends would spend hours arguing about what the show meant, and he’d find himself driven online hunting for clues and Easter eggs.
He added that although he loves watching shows that release their whole seasons at once, that approach keeps viewers out of sync with one another and less likely to have a “community experience.”
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This article originally appeared on Recode.net.