Oscar nominee John Malkovich's new film will not be seen for 100 years

John Malkovich and Chang Shuya (both left) in a clip of the film. It is a project for Remy Martin's Louis XIII cognac, which takes 100 years to make.
John Malkovich and Chang Shuya (both above) in a clip of the film. It is a project for Remy Martin's Louis XIII cognac, which takes 100 years to make. PHOTO: REMY MARTIN

Not coming soon to a cinema near you: John Malkovich's new movie.

In what might be the most elaborate product placement ever, the acclaimed actor teamed up with Sin City director Robert Rodriguez to make a film no one will see for 100 years.

The extremely delayed release is inspired by the century it takes to craft a bottle of Louis XIII, an expensive cognac produced by Remy Martin, which financed the project.

If current lifespans remain unchanged, neither Malkovich, 61, nor Rodriguez, 47, will be alive when 100 - as the film is titled - is unveiled in 2115.

They are among the 1,000 people who have received metal tickets to a screening in Cognac, France, on Nov 18, 2115, which they can hand over to their descendants.

Asked if he would want to live till then if he could, the actor known for films such as Being John Malkovich (1999), In The Line Of Fire (1993) and Dangerous Liaisons (1988), and who is the writer as well as star of the film, shrugs.

"Not so much. A hundred years from now, I'd be 161 and I can barely play tennis now," he says drily during an interview with Life.

"Life can be - and has often been for me - very, very beautiful, but I'm not sure how much of it I have left or how much I have left to do what I want to do - maybe a lot, but I don't particularly require another 100 years," says the actor, who has two daughters aged 22 and 24 with his long-term partner Nicoletta Peyran.

"But I can't definitively say that. If somebody had asked me when I was 30 if I wanted to live until I'm 61, I think I might have said 'nah'."

The 2115 release date of 100 is meant to highlight the fact that the Louis XIII cognac - which sells for about US$2,500 (S$3,531) a bottle online - takes 100 years to make.

But the label and film-makers seemed keen to downplay the branding aspects of the project while speaking to press in Los Angeles last week, when a copy of the movie was placed in a high-tech safe.

The safe will unlock itself automatically in the year 2115 and until then, no footage of the movie will be released.

Malkovich and Rodriguez were deliberately vague about the storyline, too.

The director would reveal only that it is set in 2015 and is "very elegant and emotionally charged".

He adds: "You have to touch the hearts of people who are going to see it in the future, so it has to be very honest."

Pressed on whether a bottle of Louis XIII will appear in the film, the director and his star hesitate before admitting that there will be a shot of it in the background.

No further details will be revealed till 2115 and no footage has been released except for three video clips - not of the film itself, but of three imagined versions of what the world could look like 100 years from now.

The clips feature Malkovich and Chinese model-actress Chang Shuya, who will appear in next year's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel - along with a bottle of Louis XIII.

Malkovich describes the three scenarios as "a high-tech, beyond computerised world", "a post- Chernobyl, back-to-nature, semi- collapsed civilisation" and "a retro future, which was how the future was imagined in science fiction in the 1940s or 1950s".

Rodriguez - who has made low-budget films such as From Dusk Till Dawn (1997) as well as the Spy Kids (2001-2011) and Sin City (2005-2014) franchises - confesses that he initially misunderstood and did not realise that no trailer footage would be released for 100, meaning he would get no recognition for his work.

But Malkovich says there was a silver lining to this as "it probably made it less pressured and more personal" not having to worry about how an audience would react.

He also half-jokes that he wishes some of his earlier films had been released this way, only "I'm not sure that's a joke", he adds.

When it comes to how people react to his films, he says: "I don't have to try to not think about it. I don't think about it."

"It wouldn't help to worry about it anyway,'' he adds, noting that those he collaborates with are typically savvier about marketing movies than he is.

He says: "I have no skill in doing that and my interest in it ends and begins with my own reaction to it. I might be interested in what people say, depending on the person and depending on what's said, and that may be informative and instructive in some way also, but I'm really only worried about what I think."

The actor - who played the baddie to perfection in films such as Dangerous Liaisons and In The Line Of Fire, which earned him an Oscar nomination - also designs a line of high-end menswear and claims "I don't really think about whether anyone will buy it".

Wearing a silver grey suit from his own collection, he says he also likes the idea of delayed gratification that 100 celebrates.

As a concept, it is "not very modern" to delay the consumption or production of movies, but he praises this as "actually quite an elegant idea".

He adds: "Rome, among other things, wasn't built in a day. Some things take years, decades, even centuries."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 23, 2015, with the headline 'Malkovich in film that will be released 100 years from now'. Print Edition | Subscribe