Robots have been replacing humans in the workplace for years, yet no-one expected them to be leading high-budget live-action movies.
Well, thespians, watch yourselves, as robots are now coming for your jobs too. The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that a robot named Erica has been cast in a leading role with the producers claiming this to be the first movie to rely on an artificially intelligent actor.
While this may seem like a gimmick, this is no low-budget, straight to DVD affair. Titled b (a name that does not lend itself well to googling), the movie has a $70 million budget and backing from the production company behind the Oscar-nominated Loving Vincent – which was created entirely from paintings.
b follows a scientist who "discovers dangers associated with a program he created to perfect human DNA and helps the artificially intelligent woman he designed (Erica) escape."
THR reports that the Japanese scientists Hiroshi Ishiguro and Kohei Ogawa, who created the real-life Erica as part of their study into robotics taught her how to method act. “In other methods of acting, actors involve their own life experiences in the role,” Khoze said. “But Erica has no life experiences. She was created from scratch to play the role. We had to simulate her motions and emotions through one-on-one sessions, such as controlling the speed of her movements, talking through her feelings and coaching character development and body language.”
Erica was originally set to appear in a completely different project from American History X director Tony Kaye, yet the producers parted ways with Kaye after scheduling conflicts. b currently has no director or any human actors attached to it yet, though the producers have already filmed some of Erica's scenes. The hope is to film the rest in Europe in June 2021. For more robotic action, check out our list of the 30 best movie robots to make you fear for humanity.