Lifestyle & Belief

Ai Weiwei is more 'badass than teddy bear' in his new sci-fi film

Is there anything the man can't do? Maybe, but we haven't seen it yet.

Ai Weiwei is famous for so many reasons, among them designing then denouncing an Olympic stadium, being thrown in jail then released by Chinese authorities and smashing a $1-million, ancient Han dynasty vase then calling it art.

His latest project is a sci-fi film called "The Sand Storm," which made waves last week in the form of a Kickstarter campaign (which has already exceeded its initial goal of $33,000).

The film, billed as a "dystopian science fiction film set in the not-too-distant future," stars Ai Weiwei as a water smuggler in a world that is quickly drying up.

It isn't a far stretch to see "water" as a stand-in for "information" in Ai Weiwei's world. Much of his work criticizes the government for its various forms of censorship.

Here's the preview:

The director is Jason Wishnow, who told the LA Times that Ai is "a bit more badass than big teddy bear in this movie." Wishnow first worked with Ai Weiwei while making films for TED talks.

(Jason Wishnow/Screengrab)

"Sand Storm" is shot by Christopher Doyle, whose name you might remember from Wong Kar-Wai films "Chungking Express" and "In the Mood for Love."

Doyle is also responsible for Ai Weiwei's rather humorous foray into heavy metal with the song "Dumbass."

For now, "Sand Storm" is a 10-minute short, but Wishnow hopes to raise the funds to shoot a full-length film with his kickstarter campaign.

If Ai Weiwei is going to dress like this for the whole thing, hey. I'll watch it.

(Jason Wishnow/Screengrab)