Veteran Director of Iron Man, Chef and more recently The Jungle Book, Jon Favreau has now teamed up with veteran VR production house WEVR on a brand new project entitled ‘Gnomes & Goblins’, a realtime VR experience set in a magical fantasy world.
The interest from Hollywood and its key players in immersive technologies seems to be growing apace, with studios and creatives keen to explore the artistic and, of course, financial potential of VR.
The latest convert to virtual reality is Jon Favreau, a Writer, Director, Producer and Actor you will almost certainly have encountered – unless you happen to have sworn yourself off all motion picture based entertainment for the last 20 years. He’s best known for his Directorial duties on films like Iron Man (2008) and The Jungle Book (2016), but you may have encountered his front-of-camera skills in many films from Hoffa (1992) to Chef (2014 – a movie he also wrote, directed and produced). Favreau is one of those sickeningly talented people then, and now he’s turning his attention to VR.
Favreau’s first project in virtual reality is a new collaboration with Wevr, developers of the enchanting underwater experience theBlu and Reality One. It’s described as an “opportunity to explore an enchanted VR world,” seemingly created by Favreau where you get to meet and “develop a personal relationship” with the worlds characters. Favreau says that he didn’t want the project to be a “passive cinematic experience where people just sit and enjoy it like a ride,” and importantly “where you have the opportunity to explore the same feelings you get while lucid dreaming.”
Gnomes & Goblins is formed from ideas that Favreau had been toying with already, but it was Wevr’s theBlu as demo’d on the HTC Vive which showed him that VR was the right medium to do the project justice. “I went over to Wevr and tried out theBlu on the Vive. Presence was the most interesting phenomenon when I experienced it for the first time,” says Favreau, ” Knowing that you are seeing something artificial and yet your brain is fooled into believing that it’s real.” As Favreau was looking for an independent collaborator with a “lab feel”, the partnership with Wevr was born.
If all of this sounds mighty intriguing, you won’t have to wait much longer to see what Favreau and Wevr have been working on for the last year. Gnomes & Goblins is set to appear via Wevr Transport, Steam and Viveport on September 8th in preview form, so you’ll be able to step into the world for yourself next week.