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‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Screenwriter Nicole Perlman Makes VR Debut With ‘Raising a Rukus’

Variety logo Variety 5/25/2017 Janko Roettgers
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“Raising a Rukus,” the animated kids series from Los Angeles-based Virtual Reality Company (VRC), launched on the Samsung Gear VR headset Thursday — and VRC used the occasion to highlight some of the high-caliber creative talent behind the show: “Raising a Rukus” has been written, adapted and executive produced by Nicole Perlman, who is best known as the co-writer of “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Some of the other better-knwon names attached to the series include Grammy Award-winning composer James Newton Howard, composer Sven Faulconer, The Third Floor founder Joshua Wassung, Skywalker Sound and of course VRC co-founder Robert Stromberg, who won an Academy Award for his work on “Avatar.”

“Raising a Rukus” is a series about two twins that fight a lot and agree on little until they get their own dog. The pet, who goes by the name Rukus, turns out to be magic, and capable of taking them to magical places to have adventures together.

The show is notable for its mainstream appeal, and is squarely targeting younger viewers with relatable characters and fast-paced action. But the first episode also features some technical innovation, including branched narration, giving viewers a choice to either follow one or the other sibling until they’re reunited a couple of minutes later.

“We are in the early days of unlocking the power of this new medium,” said Stromberg in a statement. “It’s similar to my time working on ‘Avatar,’ VRC is in a constant state of invention and innovation, testing and pushing the artistic, storytelling and technical potential of VR.”

VRC first brought the show to the Imax Experience Centre in Los Angeles last week, where consumers have been able to watch the first episode while sitting in special motion chairs.

Starting Thursday, it is also available worldwide on Samsung’s Gear VR headsets, where it is being sold via the Oculus Store for $3.99. The episode will be playable recent-generation Galaxy phones right away, and support for the new Galaxy S8 will be added soon.

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