'Solos' a time capsule of what we're experiencing today: creator David Weil on his sci-fi anthology

·4-min read

New Delhi, Jun 1 (PTI) 'Solos' creator David Weil says his Amazon Prime Video sci-fi series 'Solos', which he wrote at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic last year, was born out of his desire to return to the feeling of how he first fell in love with stories as a child.

Starring A-list Hollywood stars such as Morgan Freeman, Anne Hathaway, Helen Mirren, Uzo Aduba, Anthony Mackie, Constance Wu, Dan Stevens and Nicole Beharie, the seven-episode series dropped on the streaming platform on May 21.

Weil, best known for the Al Pacino-starrer Nazi hunting drama 'Hunters', said he wanted to transport the audience to a new location with 'one singular story' with one actor to 'feel the power and potency of what a single story can do'.

'I wanted to create a series that returned me to the feeling of how I first fell in love with stories. And I first fell in love with stories around my grandmother's kitchen table, listening to her experiences and her heroism during World War II.

'I fell in love with stories around the campfire as my older brothers would tell me ghost stories as we hiked up in the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts,' the writer told PTI in a Zoom interview from Los Angeles.

Weil makes his directorial debut with 'Solos' with Sam Taylor-Johnson, Zach Braff and Tiffany Johnson also helming some of the episodes.

As a creator, Weil said he wanted the series to be a conversation for the audience to reflect on their own lives, hopes and dreams, and how they wish to change once the pandemic is over.

'I wrote this a year ago during the height of the pandemic. And as you see, it's really a story that yearns for connection. It's a story about affirming humanity and relationships. It's about parents and children, loved ones, and friends. It really is a time capsule, and will forever be of what we've all been experiencing and going through during this past year and a half.' The world of 'Solos' is firmly rooted in sci-fi, which allowed Weil to give the audience some distance from the lived reality of the pandemic. Citing Stanley Kubrick's 1968 classic '2001: A Space Odyssey' as his favourite sci-fi movie, the director said he liked the film because the technology in the story is an extension of humanity.

'Technology can be incredibly benevolent, and I think it can be incredibly harmful. As we head into the future, I think we as human beings will forever struggle with that notion of how we keep the goodness in technology and our futurism.

'And how do we ward away some of the darkness, and the evil that can come with these advances. So I think it will be a perennial and forever struggle. I love science fiction that really contends with that and illuminates that,' he added.

Asked about working with a stellar cast that includes the likes of Hathaway, Mirren and Mackie, Weil termed it a 'wonderful symbiotic relationship with real push and pull'.

'I feel like I write everything with Helen Mirren or Anthony Mackie in mind. I just love them so much and I've always wanted to work with all these eight brilliant actors.

'Anthony and Helen were both so proud of their work, it was such a thrill to have them and Anthony, in particular, felt like it's some of the best work he's done in such a long time. So, it was just a thrill for all the actors to see them receive their episodes with such warmth and excitement, that was a real gift,' he said.

The writer-director said the second season of his show 'Hunters', also an Amazon series, will be full of 'great twists and turns'.

''Hunters' season two is soon underway. We're all very excited. As always with 'Hunters', the only thing you can really expect is the unexpected so there's going to be a lot of great twists and turns, and always leading with emotion in this great central story of this young man trying to honour his grandmother's legacy,' he added. PTI BK RDS RDS

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