I really one to see Alex Garland”s “Halo” movie. If anyone could abolish the video games-don”t-make-good-movie myths, Garland was a likely candidate. His science fiction writing is heady without drowning in self-importance. “28 Days Later” is a great film. “Never Let Me Go” flirts with all the right ideas and tones, even if it”s too dour for its own good. “Dredd” trounced low expectations with its tangibility and streamlined focus. Garland wrote a draft of “Halo” nearly a decade ago. It still sounds like the perfect match of writer and blockbustery source material. There”s little chance we”ll see his take, but it”s relevant because the first look at Garland”s directorial debut, “Ex Machina,” will only make you wish someone with this control over the genre could step into a mega-budgeted action movie. This trailer proves that Oscar Isaac yammering about Turing tests can be just as thrilling as any exploding-car setpiece.
”Ex Machina” stars Domhnall Gleeson as Caleb Smith, a programmer at an Google-like search service who wins a golden ticket to private mountain estate of the company”s CEO, the genius recluse Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac). Nathan reveals that the contest was simply a ploy to find a human component for a new research project. Caleb will evaluate the capabilities and consciousness of Nathan”s latest creation: A sophisticated robot named Ava (Alicia Vikander of “Anna Karenina”). As Garland teases in the trailer, Ava may be more sophisticated and alluring than even Nathan had predicted.
Garland directed the film based on his own original script. DNA Films”s Andrew Macdonald and Allon Reich produced, with Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, and Film4 head Tessa RossIn serving as executive producers. In anticipation of this new trailer, A24 announced that it picked up Garland”s original film for release in 2015. Late Tuesday, the company released this snazzy one-sheet.
“Alex Garland is already one of the most brilliant and distinctive writers working today,” says A24 in a statement. “‘Ex Machin”a marks the beginning of an exciting new step for Alex the director, and we are thrilled to help bring his provocative vision to US audiences.”
Provocative is the right word. Small-scale and talky, “Ex Machina” as the Asimovian vibe that Hollywood never seems to get right when it actually adapts Asimov. This may not be Academy voters” cup of tea, but hey, that”s why they invented the Saturn Awards!
”Ex Machina” will serve up a Gleeson-Isaac pairing before “Star Wars 7” when it arrives to theaters on April 10, 2015