The choice-driven entertainment outfit, eko, has announced a partnership with film director Barry Levinson’s The Levinson Fontana Company to produce a new, live-action drama series in which the viewer decides the course of the story. The series, currently titled “The Jury Room,” is slated for a 2020 release and will be directed by Barry Levinson. eko’s stories are distributed via its website (see below) and social networks, and are available on desktop, mobile and connected devices.

The series has what’s called a ‘logline’ in which there is a trial of a domestic terror event and unearthed evidence of possible government involvement. A subsequent coverup is debated by twelve jurors. The idea is that you, the viewer, is one of them and has to navigate the social dynamics of the jury room as well as the evidence itself to decide the verdict.

“At eko, we are all about giving viewers meaningful choices that deeply shape the narrative. So it is a particular thrill to collaborate with a master of filmmaking like Barry. His films are truly part of the American canon, and it’s a testament to his relentless creative curiosity that he’s making a choice-driven series with us,” said Alex Vlack, Vice President of Creative at eko. “We can’t wait to have Barry at the helm of this project.”

“I’ve always been fascinated by the dynamics of a jury room,” said director Barry Levinson. “That the fate of someone can be determined by those dynamics. In a certain way, it represents how we debate each other, form opinions, hold biases, but ideally reach an agreement by being good listeners while also standing up for what we regard as the truth. To play out those elements in an interactive story makes the series really exciting for me.”

eko has already produced live-action interactive series, both fiction and non-fiction, including “That Moment When” with Sony Pictures and “#WarGames” with MGM. eko has also partnered with Bullitt, Duplass Brothers’ DBP Donut, Paul Feig’s Powderkeg, GLOW’s Kimmy Gatewood, Nora Kirkpatrick and Funny Or Die for future interactive series. For more information, visit eko here.

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David Deeb

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Companies have been talking about pushing "choices" in storytelling forever. Maybe it's just me, but outside of a video game, it seems viewers are just not interested in this. Reminds me of our DVD authoring heydays when we could author DVDs so the user could choose different camera angles. "Oh really cool", but no one used it and no one asked for it either. Maybe this one will be different. Levinson is great for sure!
 

Chris Will

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Eko? Another streaming service. This is beyond ridiculous at this point. I’m not going to visit 50 different websites/apps to find something to watch. Partner with one of the big boys like Netflix, Amazon or Hulu and maybe I’ll get interested.
 
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Josh Steinberg

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I’d be willing to entertain a choose your own adventure type thing maybe once a year. Black Mirror did one on Netflix last year and it was a fun change of pace. But the novelty would wear off pretty quickly if it was every Black Mirror episode. I couldn’t imagine being interested in something like this long term.

What was it that Roger Ebert said? About how boring movies would be if characters always did what we thought they were supposed to do?