Throughout the history of cinema, there have been many robots or other forms of artificial intelligence. From the homicidal HAL 9000 from ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ to the sarcastically beeping R2-D2 in ‘Star Wars’ to the adorable Wall-E to the sultry Samantha from ‘Her,’ AI has been a prominent part of movies for quite some time. A number of new robotic talents will join the annals of film history in 2015 as projects like ‘Chappie’, ‘Terminator: Genisys’, and ‘Ex Machina’ hit theaters, but few are more highly anticipated than Marvel Studios’ offering titled ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron.’ Now, director Joss Whedon weighs in with his take on why so many tales these days turn to stories featuring advanced technology.
In an article spotlighting some upcoming sci-fi films, Whedon speaks to Entertainment Weekly about why it is that technology like artificial intelligence and robots tend to take center stage in the movies of this age of information. Basically, the writer and director behind ‘The Avengers’ and its upcoming sequel is saying that the movies are reflecting our dependence on technology that we’ve created to make our lives easier, but as usual, he puts it in a much more eloquent way than I can:
“It’s our new Frankenstein myth. We create something in our own image and the thing turns on us. It has that pain of ‘Well, why was I made? I want to kill Daddy.’ I don’t remember seeing an artificial-intelligence movie where the robot is bonkers—the most emotionally unstable person in the film—and who has the knowledge of 3,000 years of recorded history and who is a pouty teen, all at the same time.”
This is something that we’ll be seeing a lot of when James Spader dons the mo-cap suit to become Ultron, a robot created by Tony Stark as a superhero substitute that develops an Oedipus complex and decides that he wants to kill his creator and everyone like him. That’s when the Avengers assemble and try to save the world yet again and yadda yadda yadda. We’ll get plenty of that awesomeness when the film hits theaters in May, but Whedon’s assessment is a pretty interesting one. Stories are constantly being retold over and over again with a new twist, but I never thought of these technological tales tying in with the classic Frankenstein story.
What do you think of the comparison? Would you say that it’s an accurate analysis of the story? Share your thoughts in the comment section.
‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’ assembles in theaters on May 1, 2015.