After already having won Best Actor on TV and in film, Rami Malek is taking his talents to the audio medium.
EW has the exclusive first listen to the trailer for Blackout, starring and executive produced by the Mr. Robot and Bohemian Rhapsody star. Created by Scott Conroy, the podcast drama focuses on the aftermath of the power grid going down across the nation and a small-town New Hampshire DJ (voiced by Malek) who fights to protect his family and community amid the chaos.
“This is a hyper-realistic story of what would unfold should the grid go down; how we would be totally unprepared to deal with the repercussions,” Malek tells EW. “The themes that we touch on because of that will explore and delve into how we respond as the most bare human beings that we are. Themes of community versus tribalism will come up, and then you will think about this loss of our sense of community and the longing that comes with increasing tech taking over our lives, and just reverting back a world that now seems so distant, a world of truly listening to one another.”
He adds that his character Simon “represents the everyman, someone that we can all relate to. I think and hope we all have a semblance of him in ourselves, that if there were a crisis like this that took place in our society that you would have a guy like Simon trying to help in whatever way he could. And sometimes he’s flawed, like everyone, but he’s seeking the truth and trying to help his family and society as much as humanly possible under the most dire of circumstances.”
Listen to the trailer below.
The impetus for Malek’s involvement in Blackout stems from his desire to develop his own projects and ideas, as well as the inspiration he took from his Mr. Robot creator, Sam Esmail, who adapted the popular podcast Homecoming into a Golden-Globe nominated drama series for Amazon Prime Video.
“I really enjoyed that podcast, and then to see it realized in his own vision, with his take on it, I thought was pretty remarkable, and I thought about the possibilities of that, coming up with an original idea and bringing it into the mainstream,” shares Malek. “I think more and more people are listening to podcasts now — more than ever. There’s something old school about it, reverting back to stories that unfold over the radio, and there’s that element of this very much ingrained in our podcast, having the radio as the only source of information.”
Describing Blackout as an “exciting listen” that is also “quite scary at times,” Malek thinks it will stand out from the rest of the suddenly flooded podcast market. “It will be one of the most unique podcasts that people have come across — not just the subject matter, but the way the story unfolds and the recordings used,” he says. “You’ll hear a different aesthetic throughout the series that I think people will feel is very unique and original.”
Presented by Endeavor Audio and QCode, Blackout premieres Tuesday with two episodes, with six subsequent episodes to premiere weekly.