Lu­men Il­lu­mi­nat­ing Com­pany

SFX - - Red Alert -

Has there ever been a re­ally GOOD steam­punk movie or TV show? Hark­ing back to Wil­liam Gibson and Bruce Ster­ling’s The Dif­fer­ence En­gine, the ap­peal of the retro- fu­tur­is­tic sub­genre has mostly been dom­i­nated by nov­els over the past few decades. But now Lu­men – James Frey’s new pi­lot for Steven Spiel­berg’s Am­blin Tele­vi­sion – is pro­pel­ling it into un­prece­dented ter­ri­tory on the small screen.

“Steam­punk is cool!” the Endgame au­thor tells Red Alert. “You only have to go to Comic- Con and see all the peo­ple in steam­punk cos­tumes to know how popular it is. No­body has re­ally done any­thing like this be­fore, so if it works it’ll be awe­some!”

Di­rected by Joe John­ston ( Cap­tain Amer­ica: The First Avenger) and star­ring Par­ent­hood’s Sam Jaeger, it fol­lows 16- year- old Char­lie, whose de­ter­mi­na­tion to dis­cover why his favourite fan­tasy au­thor has in­ex­pli­ca­bly dis­ap­peared un­wit­tingly em­broils his fam­ily in a time­less mys­ti­cal battle. “We were try­ing to come up with an idea for a show for Am­blin and we thought of this mag­i­cal world,” Frey ex­plains. “But if you even begin to go into the idea of a mag­i­cal world, you soon re­alise that ev­ery­thing has al­ready been done be­fore. So we imag­ined a steam­punk world where in­stead of elec­tric­ity, magic is the pri­mary source of power.”

But while most steam­punk sto­ries are in­vari­ably set in a ver­sion of Vic­to­rian Lon­don, Lu­men will shoot in Auck­land. “They’ve built some pretty as­ton­ish­ing fa­cil­i­ties there,” claims Frey. “There are only a few places in the world where you can shoot some­thing as ef­fects- heavy as a steam­punk show and there’s a whole bunch of crew who know how to do that kind of world- build­ing.”

James Frey is head­ing

a fair dis­tance from


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