- Director Gareth Edwards regrets setting the year 2070 as the future timeline for his movie The Creator due to the rapid evolution of AI in the real world, and admits he should have chosen 2023 instead.
- Predicting the future accurately in sci-fi movies is a difficult task, as many classics have failed to get the details right when their imagined dates finally arrive. However, the precise timeline is not the main focus of these stories.
- The purpose of science-fiction is not to predict the future, but to use abstract possibilities to reflect and comment on contemporary issues. The Creator invites audiences to think about the issues facing humanity in the present, rather than in the imagined 2070.
Gareth Edwards, director of the sci-fi movie The Creator, has admitted that he regrets setting the year 2070 as the future timeline. Set in a world where humanity has been embroiled in a war against the forces of artificial intelligence, Edward’s movie picks up years after a nuclear bomb was allegedly detonated in Los Angeles by AI forces, setting the scene for a brutal and extended conflict. However, when ex-special forces agent Joshua Taylor (John David Washington) is tasked with hunting down the elusive architect of advanced AI and its mysterious new weapon, he discovers the weapon is question is a young child named Alphie.
Speaking with Cinema Daily US, Edwards reflected on his decision to provide his movie with a firm date, despite his initial reluctance to do so. Admitting that many sci-fi movies never succeed in accurately predicting a precise future, Edwards even cites Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey as a prime example as to why he was hesitant to come up with his own 2070 date. Now with the benefit of seeing the rapid evolution of AI in the real world, he also admits to feeling “like an idiot” and suggests he probably should have set the movie in 2023. Check out his comments below:
The trick with AI is to get time in that sweet spot window where it’s before the Robo-apocalypse and not after — which I think is in November or maybe December. I think we got really lucky. The joke would be that when you write a film, especially a science fiction film, you avoid putting a date on it. I didn’t want to write a date for the movie because even Kubrick got it wrong. I was like, “don’t write a date,” and then at some point, you have to. I did some math and picked 2070. Now I feel like an idiot because I should have gone for 2023. Everything that’s unfolded in the last few months or year is kind of scarily weird, especially when we’re showing it now. When we first pitched the movie to the studio, this idea of war with AI, everyone wanted to know the backstory. Well, hang on. Why would we be at war with AI? It’s like, they’ve been banned because it kind of went wrong. But why would you ban AI? It’s going to be great and blah, blah, blah. It was all these sort of ideas that you have to set up, that maybe humanity would reject this thing and not be cool about it. The way it’s played out, like the set-up of our movie, is pretty much as it’s been for the last few months.
Why The Creator’s 2070 Timeline Fits Perfectly With Other Sci-Fi Classics
As Edwards suggests, one of the hardest tasks of any science fiction writer or filmmaker is providing audiences with an indication of when their imagined future may come to pass. While initially this seems like a simple task for creatives, one that often takes place decades before the proffered deadline ever eventuates, hindsight has regularly proven that science fiction movies with a precise timeline rarely, if ever, get the details of their imagined future right.
Between the flying cars and rehydrated pizza of Back to the Future Part II’s 2015, or Skynet’s ever shifting Judgment Day from the Terminator franchise, countless sci-fi classics have all tried their hand at predicting a future world that inevitably ages poorly when those real dates finally roll around. But when audience members get hung up on these relatively minor narrative details, they often do so at the expense of missing the bigger points of the stories being told.
At its heart, science-fiction is not about attempting to accurately predict the future, but rather using abstract possibilities to reflect and comment on contemporary issues. While Edwards may feel sheepish about his own chosen timeline, The Creator was never intended to be a prophetic narrative. Instead, by providing a glimpse at just one of many possible future worlds, Edwards invites audiences to rethink many of the actual issues facing humanity in the present, not in his imagined 2070.
Source: Cinema Daily US