Hearing that an upcoming project will be an experimental film can oftentimes give pause to moviegoers. It might mean that the filmmakers have chosen to sacrifice quality in favor of attempting to revolutionize the format. Alternatively, the plot could be excessively convoluted, as the creatives behind the project are willing to overlook a coherent story to achieve their eccentric vision. However, other film fans get excited when they hear that a non-traditional movie is being attempted. The coming-of-age drama Boyhood, which was filmed over 12 years by Richard Linklater, comes to mind. Modern media has become increasingly formulaic, so experimental films can serve to throw a wrench in the system.
Whether you’re a fan of this type of film or find it overly indulgent, there is one experimental picture that shouldn’t be the cause of either concern or excitement. In all certainty, when it comes out, you won’t even be around to see it. 100 Years is an experimental sci-flick directed by Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, From Dusk Till Dawn) that bears the tagline “The Movie You Will Never See.” This coy promotional message is a reference to the fact that it will only be available for viewing next century… in 2115, to be exact.
Here’s all we know about the unique experimental film 100 Years.
Updated June 2023: This article has been updated with additional information by Mona Bassil.
100 Years Will Be Carefully Preserved and Feature an Impressive Cast and Crew
Nobody knows who will represent the Hollywood A-list by the time 2115 rolls around. Film casts could be filled out by our AI overlords, the digitally rendered likenesses of TikTok stars could be CGI’d into every picture, or perhaps climate change will send California tumbling into the ocean, which would force Hollywood creatives to employ fish-human hybrids as actors. However, 100 Years will serve as a reminder of all the tremendous creative talent that was once responsible for the filmmaking process.
The film stars John Malkovich, who also wrote the script. Though Malkovich has been a part of many serious productions, he has also handed his hand to more experimental offerings, including 1999’s Being John Malkovich and 2019’s Velvet Buzzsaw. The key antagonist is the Chilean actor Marko Zaror (John Wick: Chapter 4), and the main female lead is the Taiwanese actress Shuya Chang (Snakehead, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). Even the names of their characters haven’t been announced; the nicknames listed on IMDB are pretty simplistic: “Hero,” “Hero Girl,” and “Bad Guy.”
This short movie is helmed by Robert Rodriguez, who has long been responsible for making some of the most unique sci-fi films in the modern cinema scape. Last but certainly not least, the film will feature an original Pharrell Williams song, aptly titled 100 Years, which was performed at a private party. The other song in the soundtrack that has been revealed is The Beatles’ 1969 hit Across the Universe.
These cast members will not be acting in pictures by the time 100 Years is released unless cryogenic freezing technology advances rapidly in the coming decades. As such, the physical version of the film must be carefully preserved. Currently, the sole copy of the picture is being housed behind bulletproof glass in a high-tech safe that will be rigged to open automatically on November 18th, 2115, as per the official press release. That same safe was briefly displayed at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.
Until the big day arrives, it will be housed in a cellar in the French town of Cognac, due to the movie’s official partnership with the Martin Rémy-produced Cognac brand, Louis XIII.
The Wait Might Be Long, But the Film Will Be Short (and Exclusive)
Though potential viewers will have to wait a long time to see 100 Years, when they actually sit down for the screening, they won’t have to wait very long for it to conclude. It is going to be a short film, which is strange, as the filmmakers definitely would have had enough time to craft a full-length picture.
Though it will probably be your grandchildren, or even great-grandchildren, who will be around when 100 Years is finally released, even they will likely not be able to experience the film. In fact, the 1000 invitations to the film premiere, made of metal for durability, have already been sent out, and recipients can (or rather, they will need to) pass down their tickets to their descendants. Hopefully, all this mystery will be worth their while. Rodriguez shared the following with IndieWire.
“They even gave me silver tickets for my descendants to be at the premiere in Cognac in 2115. How cool is that? I’m very proud of it, even if only my great grandkids and hopefully my clone will be around to watch.”
Little Is Known About the Plot, But it Will Be a Sci-Fi Flick
Though three vague 80-second teasers, labeled “Retro,” “Nature,” and “Future,” have been released, featuring steampunk, neon-drenched, and post-apocalyptic elements, it’s unclear exactly what the general story will be about. However, the minimal plot information that has been made public has suggested that the film will attempt to predict what the world might look like a century later. As such, the 2115 audiences will be able to compare the movie to how the world has actually turned out, the reality of which will probably make the film seem laughably anachronistic in certain regards.
Given its setting in the distant future, it stands to reason that 100 Years will be a sci-fi film. Zaror is a professional martial artist, so viewers can probably expect some epic action sequences. All of these clues are enough to pique any cinephile’s interest.
You definitely won’t get a chance to see 100 Years, barring a daring heist carried out by an overenthusiastic experimental film fan. Otherwise, many of you will get to see how the world actually progresses over the course of the next century, so you’ll ultimately have a better understanding of the film than the filmmakers ever could. Actually, seeing a world overcome by climate change and political collapse does not sound all that great, so perhaps moviegoers should create a petition in order to persuade Malkovich and company to at least release a portion of the film in the near future.