Alex Garland’s Robot Thriller Adds Alicia Vikander

By Brent McKnight | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

Alicia VikanderAlex Garland’s (28 Weeks Later) upcoming robotic thriller Ex-Machina is rounding out its cast nicely. Alicia Vikander, who recently starred in last year’s adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, is the latest acquisition, signing on to play the female lead. Vikander joins a cast that already includes Oscar Isaaac (Inside Llewyn Davis) and Domhnall Gleeson (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), who also appeared in Anna Karenina.

Here’s the kicker: the Swedish actress’ role isn’t your traditional female lead. She’ll follow in the footsteps blazed by Sean Young in Blade Runner and play a highly advanced, artificially intelligent humanoid robot.

The story centers around a young billionaire computer programmer (Isaac). He specifically selects one of his up-and-coming employees, played by Gleeson, to spend a week at his compound in order to participate in an experiment involving his latest project. Turns out, however, that this new endeavor is Vikander’s aforementioned female mechanoid.

Without a ton of specific details, there are a variety of directions that this story can go. Perhaps the rich guy’s creation will escape and run amok. Maybe the new guy will fall in love with robot and they’ll run away together. No matter where the narrative goes, you can’t help but walk away from this description with a serious Dr. Frankenstein vibe from the proceedings.

Not to be confused with Brian K. Vaughan’s post-9/11 superhero comic book of the same name, Ex-Machina marks Garland’s directorial debut. He has, however, penned various recent science fiction films such as Dredd, Sunshine, and the upcoming Logan’s Run remake.