A virus causes everybody in the world to go blind. Thousands of years pass. Then twins are born who are able to — you guessed it — See. That’s the high-concept premise of Apple TV+’s upcoming series led by Aquaman star Jason Momoa, who calls the new drama “probably my best work.”
“Just imagine if Khal Drogo actually lived on,” Momoa says of his popular Game of Thrones warrior character who perished at the end of the show’s first season. “He never got to be a father. I never got to fulfill any of that. Even in [Momoa’s Netflix drama Frontier], I had a kid and my family was taken from me. In this, by the second episode, I’m 60 years old with 15-year-old twins. Even though he’s a warrior, he’s a man trying to keep his family together. I’ve never experienced a dad role. I’ve never had the opportunity to go to these places before.”
The ambitious project from writer Steven Knight and Hunger Games franchise director Francis Lawrence took great pains to present a credible post-apocalyptic world where humanity has gradually adapted to its lack of vision in all sorts of clever ways.
“It’s not as if we’re saying ‘here are people who lost their sight and it’s awful,” Knight says. “The world has healed itself. It’s back to being beautiful and pristine. The human race has adapted. We spent weeks with a group of people — survivalists, scientists and anthropologists — and put together this world. We wanted to look at what bits of technology would survive and what wouldn’t survive.”
The drama also required credible fight scenes with actors playing blind characters, including a large battle in the first episode (the sequence includes warriors putting a scent on their faces so they know each other from their enemies.) To prepare for the role, Momoa trained with a movement coach and a sightless fight coach. The actor would wear a sleep-mask blindfold for stretches at a time and even tried echolocating (a sightless navigation technique where you make noises and listen for how the sound bounces off nearby objects like sonar).
“We’ll spend the better part of a couple hours in complete darkness,” he says of the training. “The less dependent you are on your eyes, it’s like your skin feels more. You walk into a room you can feel an object approach you. You’re echolocating so you can hear sound bounce off things. And the more you train for it, you become this ultimate warrior because your senses are so heightened and you’re not dependent on your eyes. All of the fight scenes are so different because you don’t have vision.”
Between the emotional range of the character and the challenges of playing a sightless warrior, the actor calls the role, “the hardest thing I’ve ever done as an actor and I’m very proud of it.”
Here’s the trailer:
See is released Nov. 1 on Apple TV+. In addition to See, Momoa also has his ongoing Netflix series Frontier and an upcoming sequel to his hit DC film Aquaman.
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