The more we see from Alex Garland’s upcoming artificial intelligence thriller, Ex Machina, the more stoked we get for it. Granted, this new poster isn’t the most exciting thing in the world, but it certainly fits in with the whole vibe of what we’ve seen thus far. The film opened in the U.K. in late January, but U.S. audiences will have to wait until April 10 to see it, except for those of you fortunate enough to check it out shortly at SXSW in Austin, where it is scheduled to make its North American premiere.
The story follows Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson), a low-level programmer at a massive, Google-esque Internet search company. He wins a chance to hang out with the company’s reclusive CEO Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac), and thinks they’ll kick it in his remote mountain retreat, bro down, and maybe talk about a promotion. Instead, he finds that he’s the human component in a Turing Test to measure the consciousness of Nathan’s new creation, a stunning AI named Ava (Alicia Vikandar). During the test, however, everyone gets more than they bargained for.
This poster feels like a progression of the others we’ve seen, almost as if we’re watching Ava’s construction in time lapse.
Though he is widely known for writing movies like Dredd, 28 Days Later, and Sunshine, this is Garland’s first time at the helm of a feature length film. From what’s been shown, however, he also appears to have a well-defined visual eye, and it looks like he’s created a fantastic looking film. The framing we’ve seen in clips and trailers is deliberate, and he uses the design of the sets to great results, using the camera to amplify the tension and claustrophobia, as well as driving home how isolated the characters are. There are basically three characters and one primary setting, and Garland makes excellent use of what he has at his disposal.
Garland had this to say about the look of the film:
What the production designer, Mark Digby, has done with that set is quite sophisticated. He’s put the prisoner—the robot—in a larger space than the interrogator, who gets this tiny glass box. When you first see Ava you’re seeing her through multiple panes of glass, and behind her is this strange garden area, which implies the world outside. It’s elegant, intelligent production design, which is typical of him.
Ex Machina opens on April 10 from A24, and you can bet your ass we’ll be at the head of the line. If you have the chance to catch the premiere at SXSW on March 14, or see it in the U.K., let us know what you think. A new trailer reportedly arrives tomorrow.