Alex Garland makes his directorial debut with the tautly constructed A.I. thriller Ex Machina.
Garland has already made a storied career out of sci-fi and fantasy films. He shot to fame when he wrote 28 Days Later, and the infamous Halo screenplay, for which he received upwards of 7 figures for. Most recently his byline was on Dredd. The adaptation of the character Judge Dredd, which opened to an unfortunately small box-office, but an undeniably passionate cult fanbase.
Ex Machina is an intense psychological thriller in which Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson), a 24-year-old coder at the world’s largest internet company, wins a competition to spend a week at a retreat belonging to the company’s reclusive CEO, Nathan (Oscar Isaac). Caleb arrives to find that he is to participate in an experiment with the world’s first true artificial intelligence, Ava (Alicia Vikander). Truths, emotions and motives are blurred as the relationship between Caleb, Ava and Nathan intensifies.
Set almost entirely indoors, the film is high concept sci-fi framed as a psychological stage drama. Its tension built entirely around the characters, their loaded words and their ambiguous intentions towards one another. Check out the latest footage from Ex Machina, along with interviews from the cast and crew.
The film is already garnering great buzz from test-screenings and industry professionals who say that its low-key style mixed with slick, high-concept design perfectly melds into an uneasy and philosophically rich film. Could Ex Machina be the best sci-fi film of 2015, or will it fade into the crowd and end up being the sci-fi film of 2015…that nobody saw?
Garland was inspired to write about consciousness and robotics by a debate he had with a friend, whose main interest was in neurology.
“The thrust of his argument was that computers can never be conscious, and on an intuitive level I didn’t think that was right…”It’s basically people talking in rooms, and the cast have to keep you engaged, they have to seduce you, and they have to keep a lot of stuff hidden from you.”
The film landed distribution with A24 Films back in October, with the first trailer debuting shortly after that announcement was made.
Ex Machina debuts in U.K. theaters on January 23, 2015, with the U.S. release on April 10, 2015.
Images: A24, IGN, YouTube