'Anthem' Video Teases a Live-Action Short From the Director of 'District 9'

A longer short film is coming later this week.

After a cryptic tease via Twitter from Neill Blomkamp on Monday, the District 9 director finally revealed his collaboration with BioWare on something set within the world of Anthem. Blomkamp is making a short live-action film set within the game’s universe, and it’ll be out on Thursday.

EA and BioWare announced the collaboration with Blomkamp’s indie production company, Oats Studios, on Tuesday with a brief teaser trailer. Blomkamp has worked on a series of excellent, oftentimes horrifying sci-fi shorts with Oats Studios, but this represents something new for the filmmaker.

Titled Conviction, the new short “brings the vast world of Anthem to life with [a] story set decades before the beginning of the game.” The video presents a live-action look at the main setting of the game, Fort Tarsis, “and the freelancers that live within it.” Blomkamp’s team has also recreated the Javelin exosuits prominently featured in the game, and Conviction will “show them in live action as they fight off the main villain and head of the evil Dominion faction, the Monitor.”

As the teaser opens, we see massive structures resembling spaceships or other advanced technology against a mountain, completely overgrown with local wildlife as if they’ve been there for centuries. (If you look closely, several small objects — probably Javelins — fly by.)

Javelins have been around for quite some time in 'Anthem'.

Oats Studios

Then, the camera pans up on a Javelin standing in the rain. Who could the pilot be? Is it a Freelancer that players encounter in the game or a predecessor who been dead for years?

Oats Studios

We get one last shot of what’s probably the same person standing underwater as the current rushes upward. An otherworldly female voice says, “The Anthem swims through your mind.”

Oats Studios

The “Anthem of Creation” — often referred to as just the “Anthem” — obviously lends itself to the title of this new sci-fi universe, but it more directly refers to an awesome and unknowable force that’s also the source of pure creation. An ancient, seemingly extinct race used the power of the Anthem to start reshaping the world but disappeared abruptly, leaving everything in the chaotic, nigh-apocalyptic state gamers find it in as Anthem picks up.

But if the Anthem “swims through your mind,” then it’s starting to seem like a sentient, otherworldly being in its own right. If we take the common comparison to Destiny even further, then the Anthem might be akin to the Traveler in that it’s a cryptic and unknowable force of creation that communes with very select few people.

Conviction sets the stage with a narrative that touches on Anthem’s beautiful and immersive world, which is ripe for exploration by these powerful Javelins,” Blomkomp said in a press release. “A world where danger is lurking on every ledge and in each valley.”

Anthem: Creation seemingly looks to offer a worthwhile live-action prequel to the game, and if it’s anything like Blomkomp’s other shorts, then it’s going to be absolutely thrilling.

Anyone can watch Conviction on February 14 at 10:30 a.m. Eastern right here:

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