Civil War Controversy Gets Heated Over AI Posters

By Britta DeVore | Published

civil war posters

The use of artificial intelligence in Hollywood has been one of the most heated topics over the last year and now Alex Garland’s latest action feature, Civil War, has added its name to the controversy as its studio, A24, released numerous posters using AI imagery. In a collection of images, the battle lines are drawn and the United States is in peril as it’s torn from the seams by opposing viewpoints, with the country plunging into the second Civil War in its history. To many viewers, the use of AI design would likely go unnoticed but to those in the know, the clues are jumping out everywhere.

The Posters

The Civil War posters feature a handful of iconic landmarks in the United States, including Washington Square Park in New York City, San Francisco, and, presumably, Echo Park in Los Angeles. Each shot shows how the war has brought devastation to these areas, with troops cruising down river passageways, bomb-torn streets completely leveled, and a heavy military presence making itself known. Perhaps in the worst decision they could make, A24 shared these images to their Instagram, where the studio was quickly torn apart by followers.

Unhappy Fans

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Those against the AI movement quickly got to typing, with one user writing, “I would have thought a company like a24 would not touch the ai plagiarism machine in a million years. Disappointing to say the least.” Another teased the connection between the production company’s name and AI, while another pointed out several easily spotted blunders in the Civil War posters. While many were outraged, some shared their upset with a hefty side of forgiveness, celebrating the film’s big opening weekend and adding that they’d still be checking it out.

Late Night With The Devil

Civil War is far from the only film to find itself facing pushback for using AI-generated content in its images and posters as of late. Just about one month ago, the David Dastmalchian-led horror hit, Late Night with the Devil was under fire for similar reasons. Instead of being spotted in promotional material, the film featured some AI artwork within the movie itself, sparking conversations and debates for those who have long worried about the advance of this type of technology.

The Recent Strikes

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Anyone paying attention to the writers’ and actors’ strikes will also know that AI played a gigantic role in what both unions were asking for as far as future protections go. Actors were rallying against the possibility that studios could use the likeness of background actors over and over again without paying them, while writers were concerned that AI would eventually be a cheaper way to crank out scripts. With examples like the Civil War posters and clips in Late Night with the Devil, it’s clear that artists will also be joining the battle. 

The Film

texas civil war movie

As for Civil War (posters aside), the latest movie to come from helmer Alex Garland (Ex Machina, Annihilation) struck gold and landed the bragging rights of being the biggest opening weekend box office earner in the studio’s history. The movie stars Kirsten Dunst, Cailee Spaeny, Wagner Moura, and Stephen McKinley Henderson as a group of journalists traveling from New York to Washington, D.C. in hopes of catching an interview with the President (Nick Offerman) before his rule falls. Packed with explosions, gun battles, and high-tense moments, Civil War is definitely one to catch in theaters.