Disney may not be doing a live-action remake of WALL-E—not yet, anyway—but provocateur filmmaker Tony Kaye has announced ( via Deadline) that his next movie will star an actual robot “who will be trained in different acting methods and techniques.” Even better, the director is hoping the robot will get SAG recognition. Even better still, it’s not a science-fiction movie, but rather a sequel to an Iranian-American culture-clash romantic comedy. 2nd Born will be the sequel to 1st Born, a movie starring Val Kilmer that got a lot of attention for being the first film co-production between the U.S. and Iran. The film, which hasn’t been released yet domestically, is about a newlywed couple whose diametrically opposed fathers have to come together to help them through a complicated pregnancy. If the robot is going to play the baby in the sequel, well, let’s remember American Sniper got Oscar nominations with a similar substitution.
For Kaye, this is yet another unusual wrinkle in a strange career. An award-winning music video director, most recently for Johnny Cash’s “God’s Gonna Cut You Down,” he’s best known for directing American History X, which he famously tried to get his name removed from. He followed that film with the extremely graphic abortion documentary Lake of Fire, and replaced Samuel Bayer on the troubled production of Black Water Transit, which became embroiled in legal issues surrounding the production company’s bankruptcy. Kaye is currently attached to six other projects in development, including yet another Steve Jobs movie.
Someone will undoubtedly use a robot as part of a movie’s cast someday—you could even argue that Star Wars‘ BB-8 counts. But a genuinely artificially intelligent one that can learn to act? Kaye has surprised us before, but he’s also failed to deliver at times. Color us interested, if skeptical.
Are you interested in a family comedy starring a robot? Why wouldn’t you be? Let us know in comments!
Images: 20th Century Fox, LA Independent Film & Entertainment LLC