They spooked us all with their ground-breaking Ghostbusters VR, pulled us into hyperspace with Secrets of the Empire and now The Void are partnering once again with ILMxLAB to develop five new experiences based on material from Walt Disney Animation Studios and Marvel Studios.
The company also revealed that the first experience, which will debut this fall, will be based on the upcoming Disney animated movie Ralph Breaks the Internet. It will be followed by one based on an undisclosed Marvel movie that will premiere sometime in 2019. Marvel’s pre-announced 2019 films are Captain Marvel, Spiderman: Far from Home, and an Avengers. Walt Disney Animation’s only new film next year is Frozen 2, which comes out in November.
The high-profile entertainment properties–arguably among the most valuable franchises in the world–extend The Void’s relationship with Disney; the company created a Star Wars-themed experience last year.
They also signal that the future of VR, at least for now, is in out-of-home event experiences tied to tentpole Hollywood franchises whose built-in audiences can drive fans to check out this new technology. Studios like Marvel and Disney want to use it as a way to extend their event movies by giving fans a new way to engage with the universes they create.
“Very fundamentally we ask ourselves what are places people have always wanted to step into and be a part of, but were never possible before,” says Curtis Hickman, The Void’s founder and chief creative officer. “Disney and Marvel have a lot of worlds that people want to step into that work well with our technology.” The Void, which has eight locations so far in the United States, Canada, and the United Arab Emirates, announced plans to expand last June, which will bring the total number to 17. “As the medium grows and is understood and the demand continues to expand, the platform itself is going to expand.”
I was lucky enough to be in the very first group of press to experience Secrets of the Empire. Click here to read my review from last year and fingers crossed we get news soon of new Star Wars themed VR experiences.