The Big Picture
- Gareth Edwards’ film, The Creator, addresses the complex morality of AI, reflecting the fears and concerns surrounding its rapid advancement in our own world.
- The film explores the idea of a war with AI and prompts audiences to consider the implications of keeping or discarding AI in society.
- The Creator is not just about the war against machines, but also delves into themes of love and what it means to be alive, leaving room for viewers to form their own opinions on AI.
Over the past year, AI has grown by leaps and bounds to become a frightening, hot-button issue depending on where you stand. The new technology is one of the main issues at the core of the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, but it has also caused its fair share of consternation with other working-class people and those fearful of a future where even your eyes or ears can’t be trusted. For Gareth Edwards, whose AI-centric film The Creator premieres in theaters and IMAX on September 29, the timing couldn’t be more perfect to release a complex, cinematic story confronting the issue.
“The trick with AI is that there’s a sweet spot window before the robo-apocalypse and not after, which is in November or maybe December,” Edwards explained at a special IMAX Q&A preview event. His latest depicts such an apocalypse where AI and humanity are at war, yet the world is divided by the technology’s complex morality. Edwards was admittedly shocked by the rapid advance of AI in our own world and even met with some pushback regarding the concept of AI being bad when he pitched the film. Revealing how fortunate he was to get such a release, he said:
“We got lucky [with our release date]. I tried to avoid putting a date. I didn’t want to write a date for the movie because even [Stanley] Kubrick gets it wrong. At some point, you have to pick a date, so I did some math and I picked 2070. Now, I feel like an idiot because I should have gone for 2023, with everything that’s unfolded in the last few months, or year. It’s scarily weird. When we first pitched the movie to the studio, this idea of war with AI, everyone wants to know the backstory. They’re like, ‘Hang on, why would we be at war with AI?’ We were like, ‘It’s been banned because it went wrong.’ ‘But why would you ban AI? It’s gonna be great.’ There were all these ideas that you have to set up that, that maybe humanity would reject this thing and not be that cool about it. And the way it’s played out, the set-up of our movie, is pretty much the last few months.”
The Creator‘s AI Message Hits Home
Early signs are looking good for The Creator if test screenings are any indication. Viewers are taking the time to consider Edwards’ message on AI, which leaves some ambiguity and gray areas for audiences to make up their own minds on. It’s not simply a film about the war against the machines, but a meditation on love and what it means to be alive. Joshua (John David Washington) wrestles with this very concept when confronted with the weapon he’s tasked to destroy – which just so happens to be in the form of a small child. Edwards envisions viewers coming out of theaters weighing the benefits of keeping or discarding AI and whether something that’s not traditionally alive is worth caring for.
The Creator also stars Gemma Chan, Allison Janney, Ralph Ineson, Sturgill Simpson, Ken Watanabe, and Madeleine Yuna Voyles among others. The film arrives in theaters and in IMAX on September 29. Check out the trailer below.