Æon Flux is an avant garde animated science fiction television series that aired on MTV. It premiered in 1991 on MTV's Liquid Television experimental animation show as a six-part serial of short films, followed in 1992 by five individual short episodes. In 1995 a season of ten half-hour episodes aired as a stand-alone series. Æon Flux was created by Korean American animator Peter Chung. A live action motion picture loosely based upon the series starring Charlize Theron is scheduled for release in late 2005.
Æon Flux is set in a surreal, futuristic universe of mutant creatures, clones, and robots. The title character is a tall, sexy, scantily-clad secret agent from the country of Monica, skilled in assassination and acrobatics. Her mission is to infiltrate the strongholds of the neighboring country of Bregna, which is led by her sworn enemy, and sometimes lover, Trevor Goodchild. Monica represents a dynamic anarchist society while Bregna embodies a centralized scientific planned state. The names of their respective characters reflect this: Flux as the self-directed agent from Monica and Goodchild as the technocratic leader of the Breen. This juxtaposition also maps accordingly to the characterizations of Eris and Greyface in the Discordian mythos. Further mythic parallels can be drawn in likening Goodchild to Apollo and Flux to Artemis.
The visual style of Æon Flux was deeply influenced by the figurative paintings and drawings of the Austrian artist Egon Schiele. Other key influences on Æon Flux can be found in Japanese anime (especially grittier fare like Akira), and European comic works such as the work of Moebius (particularly in lineforms, color palettes, and figure characterizations); Æon Flux is often erroneously classified as an anime series. Graphic violence and sexuality, including fetishism and domination, are frequently depicted. One peculiarity of the series is that every short and even some full episodes end with the violent death of Æon Flux and there is virtually no continuity between episodes other than characters. Another is that, with the exception of a single spoken word, all of the short episodes are completely devoid of dialogue. Peter Chung has said that this plot ambiguity and disregard for continuity are meant as a satire of mainstream action films, and his stories often emphasize the futility of violence and the ambiguity of personal morality.
A graphic novel called Æon Flux: the Herodotus File was published, which vaguely explained some of the show's setting and backstory. One tidbit suggested in the series and confirmed in the graphic novel is the character's foot fetish; it is suggested she augments her income posing for magazines devoted to the fetish.
An Æon Flux Hollywood adaptation has provoked tremendous controversy among Æon Flux fans since the film adaptation bears little resemblance to the original animated series. Nevertheless, after nearly a decade of speculation and rumor, filming began August 2004, and completed at the end of 2004 in Berlin, to be released in December 2005. The screenplay was written by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, and the film is being directed by Karyn Kusama. The character of Æon Flux is being played by Oscar-winner Charlize Theron. Filming was temporarily suspended during September 2004 while Theron recovered from a neck injury she suffered during stuntwork on the tenth day of shooting. Production resumed in early October.
To coincide with the release of the movie, Majesco Games and developer Terminal Reality will release videogame adaptations on Xbox and PlayStation 2. (Presumably this will be a different game than the aborted TV series-based PS1 game mentioned above.) Dark Horse Comics has also launched a comic book based upon the film version of the character.
The half-hour series was issued in a three-volume VHS set in the late 1990s, while some of the shorts appeared on a Best of Liquid Television compilation around the same time. Selected episodes were later released on a now-out-of-print DVD. With the upcoming release of the movie, the series has been compiled into a DVD box set which will be released on November 22.
Trevor : The dream to awaken our world!
Æon : You're out of control.
Trevor : I take control. Whose side are you on?
Æon : I take no side.
Trevor : You're skating the edge.
Æon : I am the edge.
Trevor : What you truly want, only I can give.
Æon : You can't give it, you can't even buy it and you just don't get it.
Season 1 (1991)
Serial, six parts of two to three minutes each, shown on Liquid Television
Æon kills many Breen soldiers in an attempt to assassinate a man who is already dead in Trevor's apartment. A horrible disease is spreading from a bug and infecting people. Æon steps on a nail and plunges to her death off the ledge of Trevor's building. She goes to the Afterlife and has her feet licked for all eternity, meanwhile Trevor becomes famous for his antivirus.
Season 2 (1992)
Three to five minutes each, shown on Liquid Television
Season 3 (1995)
Thirty minutes each with commercials
- "Utopia or Deuteronopia"
- "Isthmus Crypticus"
- "A Last Time For Everything"
- "The Demiurge"
- "Ether Drift Theory"
- "The Purge"
- "End Sinister"
- Official movie website
- Template:Imdb title
- Æon Flux at TV.com
- The SadGeezers Guide to Aeon Flux
- Cinescape Coming Attractions: Aeon Flux
- Box Office Prophets: Aeon Flux
- CountingDown.com: Aeon Flux
- GirlsWithGuns.org: Aeon Flux