Sebastian Stan will star in the indie sci-fi film ARQ. Written by Tony Elliott and directed by Craig David Wallace, the film follows an engineer who has survived the collapse of civilization, and is now reliving the last day of his life over and over again. Sarah Timmons and Christina Piovesan are producing and Peter Block is executive producing for Corvid Pictures.
“ARQ” is the first feature film from Elliott, and depending on shooting and release dates, will be either the first or second from Wallace. Elliott’s previous work has been as a story editor and writer for BBC America’s “Orphan Black,” while Wallace created and executive produced the Canadian horror comedy series “Todd & the Book of Pure Evil” (a project which he worked on with Corvid Pictures). Of course, writers and directors often change tonally between projects–just look at Steven Soderbergh–but based on what there is of Wallace and Elliott’s previous work, I think it’s safe to say that “ARQ” will not be aiming for understated.
The real draw of the film is Stan, whose career is on an upward slope at the moment, between his roles as Bucky Barnes in the two “Captain America” movies and the Mad Hatter in “Once Upon a Time.” Others may remember him as the troubled son of the Secretary of State in USA’s Sigourney Weaver-led miniseries “Political Animals.” Or, if you’ve got really esoteric taste, you might recognize him from NBC’s predictably short-lived series “Kings.” Basically, Stan has made a career of playing endearingly troubled, slightly crazed characters–which seems like a pretty good fit for a post-apocalyptic engineer stuck in a “Groundhog’s Day” loop.
Given that the main character is an engineer, it seems likely that ARQ stands for “automatic repeat request,” a data transmission method by which a query is sent out repeatedly until an acknowledgement is received from the recipient. As Wikipedia’s fantastic “List of films featuring time loops” page demonstrates, we’re nowhere near done riffing on the “Groundhog Day” concept, so it should be interesting to see how “ARQ” measures up to films like “Edge of Tomorrow.”
Even though I am slightly tired of time-loop movies, this one sound genuinely interesting and I am happy for him that he finally got a role post The Winter Soldier, and plus I am always here for original sci-fis too.