Directed by Kurt Wimmer and starring Christian Bale and Sean Bean, Equilibrium brought fans a narrative that stuck with them long after the credits rolled. The film is set in 2072, shortly after World War III broke out. Libria is implied to be the only group of humanity left alive, and they live in a totalitarian society where feeling emotion is illegal. Human emotion is thought to have caused the war, and everyone is forced to take psychoactive drugs to suppress their feelings. Christian Bale plays the role of John Preston, a high-standing Grammaton Cleric within the society. Since the first film was released, fans have been vying for a sequel. And with the immense potential in terms of world-building and storytelling that comes along with the set-up in the film, what if there was an Equilibrium TV series produced instead?
Equilibrium (2002) tells an interesting story that deeply delves into human emotion, society, and totalitarianism. Christian Bale carries the film and presents audiences with a rather convincing image of what it looks like to feel something after so long. Furthermore, the film also brought viewers the incredibly entertaining concept of Gun Kata, a fictional form of martial arts in which each Cleric is trained to incorporate firearms into their fighting style. Overall, the film was a masterpiece that left fans hungry for more. And what would that look like if there is the possibility of an Equilibrium tv series reboot/continuation?
What Storyline Would The Equilibrium TV Series Follow?
The film unpacks way more than a synopsis could explain to a viewer. But to summarise, the film focuses on John Preston as he starts a journey to help the resistance against their oppressive government. He forgets to take his dosage of the psychoactive drugs one day and begins questioning why he is blindly following the orders he has been given. Slowly, he begins to realize his actions are wrong, cruel, and inhumane. Now, this is where it gets slightly complicated. The city is run by someone only known as ‘Father’ who leads the Tetragrammaton Council, the city’s government. He appears on videos broadcasted throughout the city wherein he feeds onlookers propaganda regarding their totalitarian philosophy. Furthermore, the resistance mentioned above group is known as the ‘Underground’ and opposes the way Father is leading the city.
There is an ongoing war between the two groups, which is ironic considering the point of distributing the psychoactive drug was to ensure this does not happen again. But this brings forth an interesting world-building aspect that would do well in an Equilibrium TV series. For example, if a series is made, it could pick up various timelines and characters. John Preston’s story is concluded at the end of the film when he kills Father through Gun Kata and has the city descend into chaos as more people rise, starting a revolution.
But his son remains, as well as many members of the resistance. If the Equilibrium TV series decides to pick up from where the film ended, it would be interesting to see what ultimately became of the city when humanity regained its emotions. The story could follow his son, who stopped taking the drug after his mother was killed. It could continue from a point in the film’s timeline or a few years later. Then there is Jurgen, the leader of the resistance. It would be interesting to see how the resistance was formed after World War III broke out and the drugs were distributed. Was Jurgen the first person to stop taking the drug? Or did someone else convince him?
Would it be Better If the TV Series Were A Prequel?
This presents another exciting narrative: would the Equilibrium TV series work better if it were to go back to when the war first broke up?
This is another narrative that would allow fans to explore the inner workings of the Equilibrium universe deeply. The film takes inspiration from many other works of fiction that focus on dystopian societies. An example of books includes Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, 1984 by George Orwell, and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. A prominent film franchise that the creators took inspiration from was The Matrix (1999 – 2021). The underlying themes in all these works are the dangers of totalitarianism, human nature, and how necessary knowledge, identity, and individuality is in society. This is a lesson well taught by the Equilibrium universe.
So going back in the film’s timeline and exploring why the government decided on this as a solution would be very interesting. Surely fans would enjoy exploring what led to World War III breaking out and the toll it took on the world. Furthermore, the Equilibrium TV series could look at the direct aftermath of the war and what state the remainder of humanity was in before the new government regime was put in place. Was the rest of humanity really wiped out? And if so, how did the Tetragrammaton Council come to exist and be in power? Furthermore, why were they not taking the drugs they were actively pumping into society?
This also leaves room to explain how the Underground resistance was initially formed within this universe. Depending on how long before the events of the film World War III took place, the Equilibrium TV series could focus on a different group of people who saw that there was something wrong with their new government. However, if the tv series goes with a prequel story instead, it may mean that characters such as John Preston may not be able to make a cameo. However, Christian Bale’s appearance in the series also heavily depends on whether the actor would be willing to reprise his role.
Is There A Real Chance of A Follow-Up Film Being Made?
Unfortunately, the chances of seeing more from this universe are very slim. The director, Kurt Wimmer, has been against another instalment from the beginning, much to fans’ disappointment. And while this means that there may not be more from this specific director, there is still a tiny chance that someone else may decide to do something with the narrative. If a big enough company is willing to fund the production, surely someone would be willing to get in the writer/director’s seat and give fans more of this dystopian world.