Wonder Woman and Justice League star Connie Nielsen teamed up with fellow superhero parent Dougray Scott (Batwoman) for Sea Fever, a thriller filmed last year that feels eerily relevant now. In the film, Siobhán's (Hermione Corfield) a marine biology student who prefers spending her days alone in a lab. She has to endure a week on a ragged fishing trawler, where she's miserably at odds with the close-knit crew. But out in the deep Atlantic, an unfathomable life form ensnares the boat. When members of the crew succumb to a strange infection, Siobhán must overcome her alienation and anxiety to win the crew's trust, before everyone is lost.
Of course, given the timing, it's difficult to ignore the fact that a movie about a microscopic organism risking the lives of everyone around you is something that hits a little closer to home than it might have six months ago. Nielsen said that while it's easy to see the novel coronavirus pandemic in everything, the message that Sea Fever originally brought was one that's much older, and more steeped in the same kind of environmental responsibility urged by Godzilla.
"I will say that in September, when we presented the film in Toronto, a lot of commentators and a lot of filmgoers and members of the audience kept on noticing and saying, 'Is this film really also talking about the damage to the environment?'" Nielsen told ComicBook.com. "It felt to them that nature was finding a way to get back at humans, saying: 'Enough. Enough with your interference with nature.' This is what you're risking. And that was what people were saying back in September. So I think that the epidemic that we're dealing with right now aside, this is a film that also wants to say have respect for nature, and let's find a way to be smart about how to deal with an outbreak when it does happen, just like in the movie."
While movies like this are often done on a big budget and with a global scope -- and both Nielsen and co-star Dougray Scott have been on more than one of those -- Sea Fever plays the claustrophobia of the ship and the relatively small cast of major characters to its advantage. The result is a movie that's more intimate, and where every potential death would be a heartbreak.
"I think there's an intimacy on these smaller films and it's that intimacy that I think is translated onto the film," Nielsen said. "You get a very up-close, very intimate feel for the characters because of the size of the film. Often big films like the Wonder Women and the Justice Leagues of the world, they operate on an almost operatic scale. And so that has a very different, and cool, but very different sort of experience on the part of the audience. I think here with regards to this film, the size, the scale of it, really fits the subject matter."
Sea Fever is currently available On Demand and Digital.