Ex Machina, a film described as an “indie robot thriller” by The Hollywood Reporter, has been given the go-ahead from producers Scott Rudin and Eli Bush.
THR broke the news on Tuesday, noting that the film will mark the directorial debut of Alex Garland, author and screenwriter of the novel The Beach as well as the films Dredd, 28 Days Later, and Never Let Me Go.
Garland also penned the script for the film, which tells the story of a billionaire programmer and the young employee he picks to spend seven days at a remote estate with just an artificially intelligent female robot for company.
Expect things to go awry for the young employee from there.
No cast has been announced at this time. Even so, the film’s shooting date was announced for the summer or fall of 2013, so it will probably come to light before the other Ex Machina at BenderSpink.
This second project will be based on the comic book series from writers Brian K. Vaughan, Glen Brunswick, and Tony Harris.
It will have a decidedly lighter tone than Garland’s effort as it focuses on a superhero, who decides that a better use of his powers would be as New York City mayor.
The comic book series launched in 2004 under DC Comics’ Wildstorm imprint.
In 2005, IGN reported that New Line Cinema had picked up the film rights, but, in August 2012, Harris and Vaughan bought back the rights and brought them to BenderSpink.
At the rate the project is going, Garland shouldn’t have to worry about any brand confusion when his Ex Machina hits theaters. His film will also be working with a micro-sized (for sci-fi) budget of $15 million.
Less opportunities to do expensive sci-fi-oriented things, yes, but also fewer moving parts to worry about, which may be exactly what the first-time director needs.
Garland has learned from one of the masters in director Danny Boyle.
Boyle filmed The Beach in 2000 and through films like Sunshine, Slumdog Millionaire, 28 Days Later, and most recently Trance and has shown you don’t need a hefty budget to make films that pack a punch.
Garland’s screenwriting credits — Dredd, 28 Days Later, and Never Let Me Go — were all high-concepts that remained endearingly small and personal, and the response from audiences and/or critics has been impressive.
Even for a film like Dredd that didn’t perform gangbusters at the box office, Garland’s work has managed to find its audience sooner or later.
So which of these two Ex Machina projects are you most looking forward to seeing?