Gareth Edwards Reveals ‘The Creator’ Is About Exploring “This Fear Of The Other Person, People Who Are Different From Ourselves”
The Creator director Gareth Edwards recently shared that the upcoming science fiction film starring John David Washington is about exploring “this fear of the other person.”
In the film’s production notes provided to Bounding Into Comics, Edwards explained, “We live in a world where we have this fear of the other person, people who are different from ourselves. More and more these days, we’re becoming polarized.”
“We sometimes have this idea that those who don’t share our values are the bad guys, and we’re the good guys. But obviously, they feel like we’re the bad guys and they’re the good guys. That’s how
humans work,” he elaborated.
He then shared how he explored this idea in the film, “I wanted to try to explore the kind of situation where you once had a massive prejudice against a certain group and then you get thrown into the midst of that group and must live with them or find a way out alive.”
“How does that change you? What do you witness there that affects your prejudice against those people? I really like the idea of a character that gets thrown into a situaBon, and through that journey to get home begins to see it from the other perspective,” he continued.
Next, Edwards stated, “Here we have a protagonist who goes on this journey through this futuristic war zone and starts to question what he thought was true. As a society, we’re going on that journey now, whether we like it or not, about AI. Is it real? Is it really a person that we’re talking to?”
“While the film raises a lot of questions about technology and AI, at its core, The Creator is also a fairy tale. A reluctant father figure must help a child through the metaphorical woods to find his wife. What he wants is love from his wife. But what he really needs is to love this child,” he concluded.
In fact, Edwards even shared that he originally viewed the AI in the film as a metaphor for people with differing worldviews. He explained, “Originally, I thought of AI in this film as a metaphor for other people unlike us whom we often view as the enemy. Then as I got into the writing of it, all these philosophical dilemmas started bubbling up to the surface. Like, if there were AI that felt 100% real to interact with, what would happen if you didn’t like what it was doing? Can you turn it off? Is it wrong to turn it off? What would happen if it didn’t want to be turned off? At the time, it seemed a little far-fetched, like something we might be dealing with 30 years from now.”
“But weirdly, as we were making the film, there were all these news stories about whistleblowers at big tech companies warning us about how advanced the AI had become and how it was being developed for commercial purposes, and how it could replace human labor. And it feels like we’re at that tipping point now where it’s here; That Pandora’s box has been opened. And this movie, by sheer fluke, is completely about that issue. And is it real? Does it matter? Should we embrace it? Should we destroy it? Those ideas are at the heart of this film. So, it’s really timely in that sense,” he shared.
Washington also hinted at this while discussing his character saying, “Joshua has this very interesting, complex relationship with his conscience and what he believes in. The film explores how love can determine what you think is right or wrong, your reasons for wanting to be alive, and whether you’re serving any purpose in life.”
“Empathy,” Washington asserted, “could be the difference between us living and having a nuclear holocaust. I think empathy is what makes us human. Every character in this film makes a decision, whether it be driven by empathy or self-preservation. Those consequences are fleshed out, and they affect every other thing in the story. It’s so exciting to be part of it and to execute it, and as an audience member, I think this film will challenge how you empathize with someone.”
Sturgill Simpson, who plays a character named Drew that aids Washington’s Joshua, also commented on this theme, “I was really fascinated by this idea that 40 years from now, humanity will become so disconnected from each other because of technology that the only solution will be for us to make robots and program them to be compassionate and empathetic and give us the thing that we now need more than anything that we can’t get from other people.”
“I hope this is not in the future we’re all headed to,” Simpson added. “It’s good to see what it potentially could turn into. But I don’t know. It’s kind of scary and fascinating at the same time.”
The official description for The Creator reads, “The Creator is set amidst a future war between the human race and the forces of artificial intelligence. Joshua (John David Washington), a hardened ex-special forces agent grieving the disappearance of his wife (Gemma Chan), is recruited to hunt down and kill the Creator, the elusive architect of advanced AI who has developed a mysterious weapon with the power to end the war…and mankind itself. Joshua and his team of elite operatives journey across enemy lines, into the dark heart of AI-occupied territory, only to discover the world-ending weapon he’s been instructed to destroy is an AI in the form of a young child (Madeleine Yuna Voyles).”
The movie arrives in theaters on September 29th.
What do you make of Edwards’ comments about what the movie explores?