A/V Room









I, Robot - Preview

Preview by: Jack Foley

FUTURISTIC thrillers involving robots can be hit-and-miss affairs. The benchmark was set by Blade Runner, which provided the definitive set of on-screen replicants, but too many other films succumb to a need for cheap sentimentalism, such as Bicentennial Man and Steven Spielberg’s AI: Artificial Intelligence.

Will Smith’s latest, however, could well fall into the former category, particularly as the hype would seem to suggest it should rate as one of the year’s better prospects.

Based on Isaac Asimov’s classic anthology of robot tales, I, Robot takes place in the year, 2036, at a time when society has come to depend on robots.

When a scientist is murdered, apparently by a robot, detective Del Spooner (Smith), is asked to investigate, even though such a crime would violate the Laws of Robotics, which state that a robot can never harm a human being.

The film is directed by Alex Proyas and co-stars Bridget Moynahan, Alan Tudyk, Chi McBride, and James Cromwell, and is due for an August 13 release in the UK.

Proyas, who has previously directed The Crow and Dark City, is a long-time fan of Asimov’s tales and believes the time is right to tell modern audiences.

At a press conference held to mark the start of filming, he commented that ‘he [Asimov] sort of predicted the future back in the '40s and '50s. And it seems we are getting closer and closer to that world’.

Smith, who executive produces, also believes the story is ideally suited to the needs of modern audiences, particularly as they have become more discerning in their taste.

He told the same press conference: "I feel that action movies and special effects films are changing in a way that the audience is demanding a deeper, emotional, and intellectual base to the special effects and to the whole show that gets put on.

"The audience is demanding that the depth and the intellect is there, and this project seemed very timely and perfect, actually."

Needless to say, the film will rely heavily on special effects, although, by using the Lord of the Rings movies as their template, it is hoped that what audiences see on-screen will be of a similarly high standard.

Tudyk, especially, is hoping they do for him, what the Rings’ movies did for Andy Serkis’ Gollum, given that he plays Smith’s robot nemesis, and his face will be concealed.

Tudyk will act out the character but will have CGI laid over his image in post-production.

A teaser trailer has been released and, according to early reports, looks intriguing.

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