Director Gareth Edwards says that The Creator‘s story became “quite real” as AI rapidly advanced. The sci-fi thriller tells the story of a future war between mankind and artificial intelligence.
Garth Edwards — who directed, co-wrote, and produced The Creator and previously directed Rogue One: A Star Wars Story — tells Yahoo Entertainment that he intended to make a terrific science-fiction movie, not a commentary on AI. “It was supposed to be creative storytelling, supposed to be just a load of made-up nonsense,” says Edwards. “And then it became quite real in the last few months or so. I've always wanted to do a robot film and I did like a space movie and a sort of alien film and so it was like robots are next maybe, and I was keeping my eye out for ideas.”
The Creator Is a Chilling Look at the Future of AI
The Creator stars John David Washington, Gemma Chan, Ken Watanabe, Sturgill Simpson, Madeleine Yuna Voyles, and Allison Janney. In the official production notes for the movie, Edwards says, “The timing of this film is surreal. Even though we’ve been developing this movie for years, it’s opening at a fascinating time when our world is wrestling with a lot of the issues and questions we wanted to address with the film—what it means to be human, whether AI can be conscious, questions of good and evil among AI and among people. I really think that exploring these questions is what sci-fi does best.” He continues:
“Originally, I thought of AI in this film as a metaphor for other people unlike us whom we often view as the enemy. Then as I got into the writing of it, all these philosophical dilemmas started bubbling up to the surface. Like, if there were AI that felt 100% real to interact with, what would happen if you didn’t like what it was doing? Can you turn it off? Is it wrong to turn it off? What would happen if it didn’t want to be turned off? At the time, it seemed a little far-fetched, like something we might be dealing with 30 years from now.”
The official description for the movie reads: “The Creator begins in the aftermath of a cataclysmic disaster, the decimation of Los Angeles by artificial intelligence. Governments in the West respond with a complete ban on AI, while Eastern nations continue to develop the technology to the point where robots have become human-like, embraced as equals. This sets into motion a war between the West and the East, America against Asia – the backdrop of our story.”
Edwards says, “But weirdly, as we were making the film, there were all these news stories about whistleblowers at big tech companies warning us about how advanced the AI had become and how it was being developed for commercial purposes, and how it could replace human labor. And it feels like we’re at that tipping point now where it’s here; that Pandora’s box has been opened. And this movie, by sheer fluke, is completely about that issue. And is it real? Does it matter? Should we embrace it? Should we destroy it? Those ideas are at the heart of this film. So, it’s really timely in that sense.”
The Creator opens in theaters nationwide on September 29.
Robert DeSalvo is a professional writer and editor with over 25 years of experience at print and online publications such as Movieline, Playboy, PCH, Fandango, and The A.V. Club. He currently lives in Los Angeles, the setting of his favorite movie, Blade Runner. Robert has interviewed dozens of actors, directors, authors, musicians, and other celebrities during his journalism career, including Brian De Palma, Nicolas Cage, Dustin Hoffman, John Waters, Sigourney Weaver, Julianne Moore, Bryan Cranston, Anne Rice, and many more. Horror movies, sci-fi, cult films as well as gothic, postpunk, and synthwave music are what Robert geeks over.