We can now add to the list of films that Bender would love David Karlak’s short, Rise, which, as you may have already guessed, is about a violent robot uprising against humanity. Although in this case, we definitely deserved it.
The short film, directed by Karlak (The Candidate) and written by Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton (the Saw franchise), is actually a five minute proof of concept for a full-length feature. Although it was made on a shoestring budget of $38,000 (achieved through Kickstarter), its CGI is superbly executed and clearly reminiscent of films like Spielberg’s A.I. and Alex Garland’s Ex Machina.
The synopsis for the film is familiar in regards to the now well-established robot apocalypse genre, stating that “In the near future, sentient robots are targeted for elimination after they develop emotional symmetry to humans and a revolutionary war for their survival begins.” But there is a bit of an uncommon twist here, because, as The Hollywood Reporter notes, the story is “Told from the perspective of the robots…”
In the short, we’re introduced to the two main characters of the proposed feature, a revolting machine (Anton Yelchin, who’s appeared in tons of films, including J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek series, where he plays Chekov), and the human military leader (played by Rufus Sewell, Gods of Egypt, The Man in the High Castle). The background for the film, that whole robot revolutionary war, is also established, although surprisingly this all takes place in the near-future—like the super near-future; the narrative for the film claims that sentient AI comes online in 2017.
There’s no clear call to action for anybody who wants to see the short turned into a feature-length film, but it seems like it’s up to a major studio now to decide this project’s fate anyway. As far as humanity’s fate with regards to A.I., 2017 seems a bit soon to have sentient A.I., especially considering Tay’s recent meltdown on Twitter.
What do you think about Rise? Are you excited to see a fresh perspective on the robot uprising, or do you wish humans and machines could just get along like good little robo-puppies? Let us know in the comments section below!