Seeing “Nerve” This Weekend? Lionsgate Dares You To Play Along (Virtually)

The Dave Franco and Emma Roberts-led Nerve gets a VR experience all its own.

Dave Franco’s and Emma Roberts’s Nerve is a very of-the-moment thriller: It stars Roberts as a high school senior who signs up for an online game in which players perform dares as part of the competition, and Franco as the mysterious stranger she’s matched up with as a partner in a series of increasingly high-stakes challenges. Think of it like Pokémon Go, but you have to walk a balance beam across two skyscrapers to catch that Porygon.


Most of us might recoil at the idea of attempting such a feat, but if merely watching the attractive young people who star in Nerve perform that sort of task lacks sufficient thrills, consider the Nerve–Do You Dare VR experience, created for Lionsgate by VR pioneers SilVR Thread. The app–available on the App Store, and Android and Oculus stores for use on Samsung Gear and Google Cardboard–gives participants the chance to experience a 360-degree view of the film’s marquee stunts. Captured using SilVR Thread’s proprietary cameras, the app was built from content captured on set during production, with stunt actors walking across a ladder between two skyscrapers in New York, or riding a skateboard towed by a speeding police car.

The app blends live-action footage and CGI. According to Lionsgate, the idea was to make it as immersive as possible. “Our goal was to immerse fans directly into the thrilling action of Nerve‘s insane ‘dare’ sequences, letting them experience these scenes from the same perspective as the characters on screen,” says David Edwards, VP of digital marketing at Lionsgate. “A first-person VR experience was the ideal format.” Eventually, there’ll probably come a day when movies like Nerve are probably told exclusively through VR–but at the moment, it’s a good glimpse of what the future might hold for high-end, on-set VR production.

About the author

Dan Solomon lives in Austin with his wife and his dog. He's written about music for MTV and Spin, sports for Sports Illustrated, and pop culture for Vulture and the AV Club.