Promising to take viewers into the mind-blowing future of 1995, veteran exploder of things Roland Emmerich has teamed with master of being slackjawed at technology Keanu Reeves to produce a new show about virtual reality. The series will be titled New Angeles, after the digital realm its characters use to escape the banality of their surroundings and Spanish definite articles. It concerns an ordinary man who goes “down the rabbit hole” of that virtual realm to adopt an entirely new identity, which soon opens up a world of intrigue that will lead him to his true destiny, much like anyone who’s ever posted an Internet comment. It’s also very similar to that other Keanu Reeves project you may recall, Sweet November.
While Emmerich is attached to direct the pilot and provide the show’s “masterful vision”—which he’ll base on a script from crime novel and comics writer Gregg Hurwitz and drawings of computers exploding—so far, Reeves isn’t expected to star. Instead, he’s just there to offer the grizzled virtual reality expertise he earned by navigating a clearly artificial romance with Charlize Theron. Also, to a lesser extent, in other movies like The Matrix and Johnny Mnemonic, which taught him everything he knows about not getting killed by strings of binary code. “After all,” he’ll tell rapt crew members daily, while sitting atop a hologram stump, “that sort of knowledge is not something you can get in the ‘real’ world. Only in the virtually real one.”