28 Days Later’s Alex Garland Helming Indie Robot Thriller Ex Machina
We might as well pull the band-aid off the wound real quick right here and say that this story sadly isn’t about the beyond excellent Ex Machina superhero comic series from Brian K. Vaughan, which is supposedly being developed by the production company Benderspink, which I’ll believe when I’m leaving the theater.
But that disappointment shouldn’t last too long, as DNA Films’ Ex Machina project sounds quite interesting in its own right. It will be the directorial debut for British novelist/screenwriter Alex Garland, who also penned the screenplay. Garland is a favorite of this site, as he was the screenwriter for one of the best zombie films ever, 28 Days Later, and the amazing-until-the-end space thriller Sunshine, both of which were directed by Danny Boyle, for whom Garland also adapted his novel The Beach. Garland also wrote the screenplays for the recent Dredd adaptation and the strange 2010 sci-fi drama Never Let Me Go.
The Ex Machina in question is an artificially intelligent female robot developed by a billionaire programmer. The story will follow an employee of the billionaire, who is hand-picked to spend a week at a remote estate testing the robot out, and it’s assumed that dangerous HAL-like jinks ensue. (HAL-jinks?) Considering it’s a thriller, something tells me it won’t be a immature series of failed sex acts.
The film is looking for a production shoot in the summer or the fall with an estimated budget of $15 million, which is just enough for a single-setting suspense-filled feature. It would be interesting in lesser hands, but this seems like the perfect vaulting point for Garland to take over cinema.