The experience of modernity is defined by immediate gratification. We listen to leaked songs before musicians release them, we live-stream our experiences on social media feeds, and we buy pre-cooked chickens at grocery stores—because why wait for a raw one’s thighs to stop running pink? We like to consume information quickly, and have our own output validated even faster. So the concept of anyone working on a project neither they—nor the modern public—will ever enjoy the fruits of, is a bit baffling. Yet that is precisely what Oscar-nominated director Robert Rodriguez and actor John Malkovich have done in creating their new film, entitled 100 Years: The Movie You Will Never See (its official hashtag, for the record, is “#notcomingsoon”).
Starring Malkovich and Chinese actress Shuya Chang, the film has been sealed in a custom Fichet-Bauche safe set to open automatically on November 18, 2115. Details about its plot are deliberately vague, although three short teasers (none of which contain real footage from the film) have been released. Each depicts a hypothetical future Earth: one overgrown by vegetation, one ultra-high-tech, and another featuring unfriendly humanoid robots (staid concepts? Modern critics will literally never know). “It’s very elegant and emotionally charged,” Rodriguez explained of the film at its announcement event in L.A. mid-November. “You have to touch people’s hearts who are going to see it in the future, so it has to be very honest.”
The film was created as a promotion for prestige alcohol label Rémy Martin, specifically, their Louis XIII Grande Champagne Cognac, each bottle of which requires a century to age. It is intended as an homage of sorts to the poetic commitment of their cellar masters, who dedicate their careers to crafting a product never to be appreciated in their lifetimes. This is not the first time Rodriguez and Malkovich have collaborated on a branded campaign (a past Nespresso ad featured Malkovich as St. Peter facing George Clooney at Heaven’s Gate), but 100 Years is certainly an unusually elaborate marketing tactic. One thousand vouchers have been distributed to a selected set whose descendants will be able to redeem them to see the movie come 2115, barring apocalypse/enslavement by an alien race. For now, there are plenty of other Rodriguez films for nobody to watch.