Steven Soderbergh’s Secret Science Fiction Project Features Michael Cera’s Floating Head

"Command Z" is set for a July 17 debut

Steven Soderbergh
Per usual, Steven Soderbergh has been keeping busy.
Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival

If you were to put together a list of filmmakers most likely to shoot a film of television project in complete secrecy, Steven Soderbergh’s name would have to be near the top of it. He works quickly, is equally comfortable collaborating with big stars and non-actors and is increasingly fond of structural experimentation — see also, 2017’s Mosaic. Fun fact: the writer on that project, Ed Solomon, reteamed with Soderbergh for Full Circle, which just debuted on Max yesterday.

Apparently, beginning on July 17, we’re getting another new series from Soderbergh called Command Z, the trailer for which is now up on his website. It contains the soon-to-be-immortal line “You put a wormhole in a washing machine?” Other details about the project are relatively scarce, other than the cast — which includes Liev Schreiber, Michael Cera and Roy Wood Jr. — and the fact that the plot involves some sort of psychic time travel.

Did we mention that Cera’s appearances in the trailer are as a disembodied head on a screen?

According to Vulture’s report on the project, it’s set to have a total runtime of 90 minutes, but will be serialized — suggesting some sort of grey area between television and film. It’s also not clear if Soderbergh wrote this himself — an approach he took for the similarly deadpan Schizopolis — or if the screenplay is the work of another of his regular collaborators. (Or none of the above.)

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Still, based on the trailer, this looks compellingly strange, and would probably fit nicely on a double bill with the 2019 cult film Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway. (Give that a watch if you haven’t seen it regardless.) We’ll have a better sense of what to expect out of Soderbergh this time around, on July 17, when the project goes live.

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