Fox has pulled out all the stops to promote its new 24: Legacy series, including a takeover of the American Airlines Terminal 8 at New York’s JFK airport (with a similar installation using 19 digital screens at the World Trade Center), a prime post-Super Bowl LI debut and a virtual reality prequel on Samsung VR.


The VR prequel, called The Raid, was produced by Fox, 24: Legacy‘s executive producer Howard Gordon and Samsung, in partnership with Here Be Dragons.

Patrick Milling Smith, Here Be Dragons co-founder and president, told [a]listdaily that his team worked closely with Howard Gordon directly alongside director Henry-Alex Rubin and the Samsung VR team.

“After some initial conversations of possibilities and unknowns in VR storytelling, Howard came back with a great script that had everyone at Here Be Dragons, Samsung and Fox excited with its ambition for the medium,” Smith said.

In the six-minute short, which is set nine months before the new series, viewers are transported to Yemen in the midst of an action-packed raid led by Lieutenant Eric Carter (Corey Hawkins) against the compound of terrorist leader Ibrahim Bin-Khalid. Fans of 24 will also meet CTU director Rebecca Ingram (Miranda Otto), who is directing the mission—the culmination of a decade-long hunt for Bin Khalid, and Grimes (Charlie Hofheimer).

“VR requires truly skilled actors since there are none of the usual filmmaking tricks to hide behind,” Smith said. “It can feel like very nuanced theatre work at times. We were very fortunate to have such talent that ‘got it’ straight away. It was also a great privilege to work with Howard Gordon, who showed us all that ambition, strong ideas and story are what propel any form of entertainment, regardless of the technology. This is an exciting moment for us all in VR—not merely because of the fidelity and craft that went into this project—but bringing together some of the most prolific talents in TV and film into a new medium.”

Here Be Dragons worked with USA Network and executive producer Sam Esmail on a Mr. Robot VR experience last year, which explored the first date between Elliott (Rami Malek) and Shayla (Frankie Shaw).

“Everything is still developing when it comes to 360-degree storytelling, but I’d like to think opportunities like these have Dragons at the forefront—it’s a new muscle that people haven’t quite developed yet, and we’re excited to be a part of it,” Smith said. “The most powerful feeling about VR is that sense of presence and the nature of 360 video tricking your brain into making you feel like you are somewhere, which in turn becomes a very strong memory. For Legacy, which is an extremely action-oriented series, it was so important that we focused on that aspect.”

Smith said much like with Legacy, Mr. Robot was a benchmark in the language of VR storytelling for the company.

“Every shoot has elements of experimentation and we were able to move the camera in ways that added to the language of the mediums filmmaking,” Smith said. “It felt like one of the strongest examples of compelling cinematic narrative storytelling.”

One of the new elements 360 storytelling opens up for creatives is the ability to pack a lot of elements into a scene, encouraging viewers to explore the experience multiple times to take in all of the surroundings.

“You have total 360 freedom to view,” Smith said. “There are multiple characters in this experience and so many details were obsessed on to make it feel real so that the audience will be very satisfied doing multiple viewings.”

To guide viewers through 360 narrative, Smith said sound, lighting, choreography and points of interest are all extremely important in leading the viewers.

“In VR, 360 storytelling becomes more about introducing characters and environments, and creating worlds, while elegantly and intuitively guiding the viewer through the experience and story,” Smith said.

Fox will pick up the from The Raid‘s storyline in the TV show, 24: Legacy, which focuses on Carter and his team. Bin-Khalid’s followers have declared a fatwah against Carter, his squad and their families, forcing them into federal witness protection. But a recent attempt on Carter’s life makes it clear to him that his team has been exposed. Carter and Ingram uncover a sophisticated terrorist network that will force them to ask: “Who can we trust?” As they battle Bin Khalid’s devotees, they are forced to confront their own identities, families and pasts.