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Warcraft director’s new dystopian sci-fi film recalls cyberpunk days in first look

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So much neon

Zhana Leeson/Netflix

The first images for Duncan Jones’ new Netflix original movie, Mute, are here and definitely recall elements of films like Akira, Dredd and Ghost in the Shell.

Set in Berlin in the near future, Mute follows Leo (Alexander Skarsgård), a bartender who lost the ability to speak after a fateful childhood accident. When his girlfriend Naadirah (Seyneb Saleh) goes missing, Leo’s search for her brings him into the city’s criminal underground. In an effort to get her back, Leo’s investigation introduces him to a pair of American surgeons, played by Paul Rudd and Justin Theroux.

Although Jones may be best known to mainstream audiences for his work on Universal’s Warcraft, which was released last year to less-than-enthusiastic reviews, the director made a name for himself with the 2009 cult-hit Moon and the 2011 thriller Source Code. While Moon straddled the sci-fi line, the film was much more of a human drama, focusing on one man’s personal, existential crisis as his three-year stint on the moon is about to come to an end.

Mute looks like it’ll be much more in line with Source Code. The photos, seen above and below, provide the first look at the neon-lined cities that will be familiar to those who have seen aforementioned films like Ghost in the Shell and Akira. In the two photos that feature Alexander Skarsgård, fluorescent, neon lights flood the streets. Although it’s not set in Neo-Tokyo or a futuristic Los Angeles, two popular settings for films within the category, Jones clearly takes his influence from the aesthetic of Blade Runner and Akira.

Netflix announced that it had picked up the distribution rights to the film in September. The company hasn’t set a release date for Mute, but it will be available to stream later this year.

Zhana Leeson/Netflix
Zhana Leeson/Netflix