A wretched combination of a bargain bin Blade Runner 2049 knockoff, eye-rolling political satire, and any given Syfy original, The Humanity Bureau looks pretty bad even as far as straight-to-video Nicolas Cage movies go. Yet The Humanity Bureau is not just another on-demand Cage thriller (though it is that). And it’s not even just another under-the-radar Cage theatrical release, either (though it is that too). The Humanity Bureau is a terrifying new step in Nicolas Cage movie presentation: VIRTUAL REALITY.
“We shot the film in three different formats, including standard theatrical, 3-screen Barco Escape theatrical, and cinematic virtual reality to provide multiple avenues for audiences to engage with and experience the story’s universe,” Humanity Bureau producer Kevin DeWalt told Variety. “We hope to give viewers more options for alternative content within today’s new media.”
But while the idea of a Virtua-Cage shouting directly at you is both spectacular and horrifying, it seems that’s not exactly what the film will be offering. From its slim description, the un-pronouncable Humanity Bureau VRevolution is painted more like a glorified Choose Your Own Adventure—more about picking which side-story to follow than experiencing the disquietingly present face of National Treasure. It’s said, “This [VR] experience takes the user through alternative storylines that co-exist with the feature film, but can be viewed as standalone episodes.”
However one experiences it, The Humanity Bureau sees Cage as an agent for the title organization, a government group that hunts down society’s unproductive members and exiles them to a layabout colony. For reasons yet to be explained, our intense-faced hero ends up on the run as he protects a mother and her son from an evil Battlestar Galactica cosplayer. The film arrives in standard theaters, Barco Escape format theaters, and on-demand on April 6; The Humanity Bureau VRevolution will be released first, arriving in a yet-unnamed format March 2.