According to Variety, set in a near-future where AI is all the rage and nature is becoming a distant memory, the story revolves around Rachel (Clarke) and Alvy (Ejiofor), a New York couple who are ready to take their relationship to the next level and start a family.
Rachel's work gives them a chance to use a new tool developed by a tech giant, Pegasus, which offers couples the opportunity to share pregnancy on a more equal footing via detachable artificial wombs, or pods. Alvy, a botanist and devoted purist, has doubts, but his love for Rachel prompts him to take a leap of faith. And so begins the wild ride to parenthood in this brave new world.
'The Pod Generation' will commence shooting in March 2022. Mk2 films will share the script and sizzle reel at next week's virtual American Film Market.
"Working with Emilia and Chiwetel as a couple on screen is a dream come true," said Barthes, adding, "Emilia's versatility, her disarming sense of humour and capacity to navigate complex emotions are a perfect match to Chiwetel's charisma and extraordinary screen presence."
Barthes added that the "idea of the artificial womb as either doom or liberation for women is inherently comedic material."
Fionnuala Jamison, managing director of MK2 Films, described 'The Pod Generation' as a "captivating near-future story with a distinctly feminine twist that really haunts as much as it entertains." At the same time, she said, it's "raising ethical questions about where technology is taking us, like once the womb has been commodified, what's next?"
The executive also pointed out that science fiction hasn't yet been tackled by many female directors and represents fertile ground for creativity. "We were utterly captivated by Sophie Barthes' thrilling script and unique vision for 'The Pod Generation' and can't wait to launch sales at AFM," said Jamison.
'The Pod Generation' will mark Barthes' third feature following 'Cold Souls' and 'Madame Bovary', which played at Sundance, Toronto, Deauville and Telluride.
As per Variety, the movie is being produced by Yann Zenou at Paris-based Quad and Genevieve Lemal for Scope. Clarke is executive producer on the project.