What happens when weed meets the sci-fi/superhero genre, and the result gets the Cop Drama treatment? JWalk Entertainment is responsible for taking all of these elements, chopping ‘em up, and rolling it into Green Fiction. Cannabis media has been exploding, and JWalk is changing the game with an interactive series.
Green Fiction is “a trans-media anthology that takes place in a world where cannabis and science fiction collide,” according to a brief synopsis on the series website.
The comic-book inspired series embraces similar concepts to that of Netflix’s Black Mirror film, “Bandersnatch” where the audience can decide the outcome for each scene. Walker is developing an app which works with Green Fiction to allow the viewer to enjoy interactive and auditory abilities in tandem with the series. This will provide fans with a unique way to digest the content instead of just hitting the play button.
We sat down with Green Fiction’s Executive Producer and Director, TJ Walker, to ask how (high was he when) he created the concept!
HM: What led to you create a comic-book-inspired cop drama that revolves around weed?
TJ Walker: As legalization began to move forward, stores started popping up, and the insides were looking like 7-Elevens. So, I was taking in this whole new concept of packaging and selling and this new idea that seems so futuristic – like Marvel movies. I watched a TV show and started thinking, ‘What if you can brand cannabis within stories and interactive storytelling?’
And let me rewind it a little bit more…the reason why I’m thinking all this is because I’m a trans-media content guru, which means I like to tell stories. I like to create projects and tell stories over multiple platforms.
Now, flash forward to me being in a dispensary, and wondering: What if I can buy a certain brand of marijuana, and on that package – I could scan it with my phone – and on my phone will appear episodic content. Episodic live-action episodes and digital comic books with the kind of interactive app that I have. Just put all that together through cannabis. You can just go and purchase this content while you purchase your favourite brand of marijuana. That’s become the take.
HM: What age group and demographic do you think are going to respond to Green Fiction?
TJ Walker: The first age group we’re going for is more for 21 and up. We have a proof of concept pilot episode and it’s called “Supreme”. First of all, it’s like the movie Sicario, in that it’s more of a cartel and American government type movie. And that’s kind of the vibe of what we’re bringing with Supreme. Supreme’s a way of dealing with the cartel.
We’re going to mix that, and put that in the Marvel Universe. So let’s say you’re watching a Marvel Universe movie. Then all of a sudden, a cannabis brand pops out of nowhere. To where someone made a [type of] Cannabis to give you superhuman abilities. It can give you a healing factor. It can give you different types of powers or whatnot.
We’re telling a gritty, tough, mature story. So we’re going towards the male/female, Comic-Con, Sci-Fi type audience.
HM: Why did you decide to name each episode after strains?
TJ Walker: It gives us more of an opportunity to tell more stories, and put out more content. I mean that’s the most important thing with what we’re doing now. So we’re building this Marvel Universe, and if we just stuck with one strand it wouldn’t allow for more content. That’s like saying we’re just going to stick with Spider-Man. But we’re going to build a universe off of all the existing strands that have stories and characters for each one.
HM: I understand that you landed Noel Gugliemi as one of the leads in Green Fiction, can you tell me a bit of the process casting him?
TJ Walker: Well, I’m going to tell you exactly how I met him. I was at Comic-Con in California and he had a booth there and I approached him. I said ‘Hey, my name’s TJ Walker, I’ve got this project. I would love to work with you.’
And he was very approachable, shook my hand and we talked for a while. He said, “Man, let me give you my direct email and number.” I contacted him later on, probably about a year later. He said, “I remember you, and I like your drive. I see a lot of people and they want to do movies and work together.” But I actually came through. I followed through and he was on board.
HM: Speaking of celebrity talent, can you tell me about the music and artists that will be featured in the soundtrack?
TJ Walker: One of the actors in Green Fiction is [Josh] ZITO. I’ve known him as an actor first, but he approached me and said, “Hey, I also do music.” So I started listening to some of his music and I was like, “Wow man, you’re amazing. You’ve got great talent”.
He said that he had a song featuring DJ Khaled he would like for me to hear. It would be perfect for a song in Green Fiction. This is after we filmed it. Then he came to me and I gave a listen. I said, “This goes perfect with our pilot episode Supreme.” It was just the feel of it. So, we worked out a deal and we got our first song called “O’Shea” that features DJ Khaled with ZITO, and another one of our actors whose name is King [Amir Allahyar].
HM: How can viewers watch Green Fiction, and when can they expect the series to arrive on screen?
TJ Walker: Right now, we are looking for partners in the cannabis industry. So we can put this up. We have a story. We have a proof of concept. We even have some of the Comic books. But right now we’re looking for a partner in the cannabis industry so we can launch. And we would like to launch in dispensaries. We would like to launch by putting our product on a cannabis product’s package by early 2021.
HM: What truly makes this different and special from every other weed-related program out there?
TJ Walker: We’re talking Sci-Fi. Hard Sci-fi mixed with cannabis. And just imagine watching anthology shows like Black Mirror or Twilight Zone. You’re going to get something different every time.