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 Spielbergs AI: Artificial
Will Smiths latest, however, could well fall into the former
category, particularly as the hype would seem to suggest it should
rate as one of the years better prospects.
Based on Isaac Asimovs 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 Asimovs 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
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 Smiths
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,