"I've got an idea for a very low budget going back to, not micro-budget, but a Never Let Me Go level budget, sci-fi movie that's a hard film. It's going to be a difficult film. I sort of alternate between these adrenaline-ized movies and these reflective movies. So Never Let Me Go, Sunshine, reflective; then psycho with Dredd, 28 Days, as it were. And this is more in the Sunshine mode than the Never Let Me Go mode. It's that kind of movie."
That's what screenwriter, producer, and all-around badass Alex Garland (when it comes to making sci-fi movies, at least) told us at Fantastic Fest when we asked about his next film. At the time he didn't have a name for it, but now we know it's called Ex Machina, and we even know a little bit about its story thanks to The Hollywood Reporter:
Garland wrote the screenplay for Ex Machina, which centers on a billionaire programmer who handpicks a young employee to spend a week at his remote estate and participate in a test involving his latest invention -- an artificially intelligent female robot.
That certainly sounds like a plot that'd intrigue the likes of Garland, though I'd also like to throw in some further context now that we can say this is the movie he was talking about in our interview above. When he says it's going to be "a difficult film," it was clear he didn't mean that in a violent or explicit way (though don't rule that side out, given his track record). This bit came up in our chat when we were talking about the difficulty of making original sci-fi movies, so he's more referencing the fact that it's just plain hard to get the cash to make one, even if it's relatively low budget.
Ex Machina will see Garland reteam with his producing partners at DNA Films and heavyweight producers Scott Rudin and Eli Bush. So the guys who produced The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo are teaming up with the makers of Dredd and Sunshine to let Alex Garland make his feature debut as a director with a movie about robots? Sounds like a match made in heaven to us.
Read our original interview with Alex Garland here, and if you haven't seen Dredd yet, you need to get on that.
Follow along on Twitter: @PeterSHall and @Moviesdotcom.