Director Tim Disney’s feature film ‘William’ is a coming of age story of a Neanderthal in our time embracing societal lies in the face of greater numbers.
Half family drama, half sci-fi, William is a realistic glimpse into what would most likely occur if a Neanderthal was able to be cloned today. From the bias of him as inherently violent, the mocking of his self-worth as a caveman, to a lack of noteworthy media interest when the narrative doesn’t follow. Accepted by society only as a sideshow attraction and ‘the other,’ and seemingly fighting an uphill battle to change the notion with good behavior. As if look and ancestry must define William in the public’s eyes, practically a metaphor, ironically enough as William despises all metaphors in the film. “Maybe it’s a Neanderthal thing…”
William presents a compelling argument in the film when forced to betray his instincts to parrot back what academia desires him to answer. “Is it intelligent to believe in things that aren’t true?” Do we as a society and as human beings distance ourselves from the truth with every metaphor, analogy, and allegory? Symbols rather realities. Does majority rule determine what’s intrinsically valuable knowledge and what’s not? Such as that an individual’s viewpoint is rendered obsolete?
Throughout the film, as William grows more and more self-aware of how others truly view him, he begins to question his very existence. His father seeing him as a living prop for his studies and his mother attempting to shelter him from the world. Early on he’s ambushed in his childhood and told to never fight back again despite him not initiating the violence. Should he respond, he’ll be giving into the stereotype of Neanderthals as declared by society. His behavior always under the microscope of latent bias ready to surface.
Thus, William is forced into acceptance for much of the film, a box he cannot free himself of. ‘Greater numbers’ overpowering his right to individualism and dictating how he should act at all times.
Though he started off as pure hearted, William eventually succumbs to what civilization expected out of him… After being repeatedly prodded to do so. A case study for behavior vs. bias, nature vs. nurture.
Upcoming showings of William in select cities
The film will be opening in select cities on April 26, 2019. If you live in Highlands Ranch (Denver), Kansas City, Eden Prairie (Minnesota), Cherry Hill (Philadelphia), San Diego, Seattle, Tempe (Phoenix), or Orlando you’ll have an opportunity to see the picture in-person.
William: Cast and Crew
The pictures stars leads Will Brittain [Colony] as William himself, Maria Dizzia [13 Reasons Why] as his mother Dr. Sullivan, Waleed Zuaiter [Altered Carbon] as his father Dr. Reed, Susan Park [Vice Principals] as Sarah who becomes more than a tutor to him, Beth Grant [Donnie Darko] as Dr. Thomas, Paul Guilfoyle [CSI: Crime Scene Investigation] as President Clayborn, and Ted Cole [Watchmen] as William’s step father Ted among its cast.
Connor Wilkinson, Brody Wilkinson, Callum Seagram Airlie [The BFG], and Christian Convery [Venom] portray the film’s namesake throughout his youth.
Director Tim Disney [American Violet] co-wrote the script for the film with screenwriter J.T. Allen [The Lion King]. Jonathan DuBois [The Marine 5: Battleground], Peter Newman [American Violet], and Amar Balaggan [Muse – TV Movie] produced the picture.
Kitty Farmer Sighting! Juxtaposition between Beth Grant’s portrayals:
Donnie Darko fans will enjoy the contrast between Beth Grant’s Kitty Farmer and her portrayal in this film as the later sympathetic Dr. Thomas. “Misgivings” disappearing the moment William was born and seen with her own eyes. “Fear and Love”
William Film Synopsis
Star academics, Doctors Julian Reed and Barbara Sullivan, fall in love with each other and with the idea of cloning a Neanderthal from ancient DNA. Against the express directive of University administrators they follow through on this audacious idea.
The result is William: the first Neanderthal to walk the earth for some 35,000 years. William tries his best to fit into the world around him. But his distinctive physical features and his unique way of thinking–his “otherness”–set him apart and provoke fear.
William’s story is powerful and unique, but his struggle to find love and assert his own identity in a hostile world is universal–and timeless.
William was produced by the aptly titled William Productions and distributed by Front Row Filmed Entertainment. Special effects were done by Lux Visual Effects with Dailies, DI Color, and Finishing services by Finale Post Production. The picture was filmed on-location in Vancouver and British Columbia, Canada.