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Will Smith as I, Robot

Hemos posted more than 11 years ago | from the gettin'-jiggy-wit'-the-'bot dept.

Movies 542

BuR4N writes "It looks like Asimov's sci-fi classic, I Robot, is going to be a movie. Shooting starts April next year staring Will Smith and directed by Alex Proyas (Dark City and The Crow). Being a huge Asimov fan I have not made up my mind if this is a good or bad thing. "

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FFP! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4809342)

Today, I have the dubious honour of getting my first FP.

One to see (2)

Trane Francks (10459) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809349)

I'm definitely looking forward to the movie. I just hope that the casting is done right.

Time to brush off my old Alan Parsons Project and have a listen, too. :)

Re:One to see (3, Insightful)

Jace of Fuse! (72042) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809371)

I just hope that the casting is done right.

Is this going to be a comedy or is Will Smith making another attempt at being taken as a serious actor?

Re:One to see (2)

jgerman (106518) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809474)

I hope it's not made into a comedy, I'll be pretty damn pissed, as I'm sure most fans would be as well.

Re:One to see (2)

Daemonik (171801) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809514)

Considering how they did Bicentennial Man, my cringe factor is already at 9. Considering the director, however, it might be a darker vision.

Ah, but then they could go A.I.!! Cringe factor at 11!!

Re:One to see (2)

jgerman (106518) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809534)

I didn't mind those two, they certainly weren't what they could have been though, and had AI ended at least twenty minutes earlier than it did I would have much more respect for it.

Re:One to see (2)

kubrick (27291) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809485)

Is this going to be a comedy or is Will Smith making another attempt at being taken as a serious actor?

You mean the two are mutually exclusive? :/

(I know what you mean, it's just that the idea of the "Fresh Prince" doing Shakespeare would make me laugh out loud... and not in a good way.)

Furst Purst (-1)

warez_d00d (122900) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809352)

ha. You lose! (or loose as proper slashbots say)

Bicentennial man (2, Insightful)

Troed (102527) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809353)

... saw it again a few weeks ago. It wasn't that bad.

I'm not sure the Asimov-worlds my mind has made can coexist with Hollywood ones though.

I, moobot (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4809354)

moobot up in tha hizouse representin mah dead troll homies

Will Smith as the robot? (1, Funny)

YoJaUta (67458) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809355)

Let's just hope he doesn't say the robot equivalent of "I make this look good!"

I "said Nod Ya Head" Robot ? (2, Funny)

maharg (182366) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809360)

Let's hope Will Smmith does the story justice. Any reason to think he won't ??

Re:I "said Nod Ya Head" Robot ? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4809403)

Any reason to think he won't ??

Now this is the story all about how,
My life got flipped, turned upside down,
And I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there,
I'll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel Air.

In West Philadelphia I was born and raised
On the playground is where I spent most of my days.
Chillin' out, maxin', relaxin all cool,
And all shootin' some b-ball outside of the school.

When a couple of guys who were up to no good,
Started makin' trouble in my neighborhood.
I got in one little fight and my mom got scared,
And said "You're movin' with your auntie and uncle in bel Air."

I whistled for a cab, and when it came near,
The license plate said "fresh" and it had dice in the mirror.
If anything I could say that this cat was rare,
But I thought "Nah forget it, Yo home to Bel Air."

I pulled up to the house about seven or eight,
and I yelled to the cabby "Yo homes, smell ya later."
Looked at my kingdom, I was finally there,
To sit on my throne as the Prince of Bel Air.

Re:I "said Nod Ya Head" Robot ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4809442)

Well, he helped butcher "Wild Wild West". The warning signs will be pre-release robotic rap videos.

Disapointment (4, Interesting)

e8johan (605347) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809362)

Smith has flourished in sci-fi with the "Men in Black" films

I'd say that 'I, Robot' augth to be far more serious that MIB or any other movie Smith has starred, so I'll bracing myself for a big disapointment. But, hopefully, I'm wrong!

Re:Disapointment (4, Informative)

kongstad (28720) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809406)

Well I would say six degrees of seperation [] was rather serious.

Re:Disapointment (2, Insightful)

bludstone (103539) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809507)

And he did a fantastic job in the role too..

He also did a great job in Ali.

Yes, Will Smith is famous for Being the fresh prince of bel air, a MiB, and a fighter pilot fighting aliens... but when hes serious, the guy can really act.

Pity hes rarely serious.

Re:Disapointment (5, Funny)

giel (554962) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809437)

Besides of having doubts Will being the man for the job, I am quite afraid they will even spoil the original story. I mean that happens in a lot of (American) movies...

Imagine the movie ending with a happy robot-man, robot-wife, two robot-kids (girl & boy), living in a big robot-house, surrounded by nice robot-flowers and a nive big and shiny robot-car... and a Will Smith song...


Re:Disapointment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4809490)

How about a hip-hop theme like they did to "Dr. Doolittle". With soulfull background music that constantly goes "Ha ha! Ha ha!".

Re:Disapointment (5, Interesting)

sg_oneill (159032) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809441)

I dunno.

I think theres two options in making this film.
If its authentic to the book, its worth remembering that the book have a sense of humor. Plus with stuff like "positronic brains" and computers the size of buildings , I suspect a tounge will need to be put in the cheek.

*OR* we can completely shuffle the thing and kill positronics etc, and have a dead serious.... and perhaps boring.... film.

Re:Disapointment (1)

computechnica (171054) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809464)

They will probably have him blowing up everything like normal hollywood fare.

Wil Wheaton would have probably been a better choice (IMHO).

Re:Disapointment (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4809481)

There should be a "WillBait" moderation for lame attampts like this...

Re:Disapointment (2)

tcdk (173945) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809496)

I think that Will Smith proved that he can play without acting like a moron all the time in Six Degrees of Seperation [] .

He has been on the slippery slope towards doing an "Eddie Murphy" lately (not a positive ting), but I'm having a hard time seeing how he can do his usual "everything I say is funny, so why aren't you laughing" rutine in this setting.

But this is hollywood, so I guess that you are right, be prepared for a big disappointment, but hope for the best.

I wonder who'll play the role of Susan Calvin...

Brand Name B Movie (3, Interesting)

ultraexactzz (546422) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809363)

It sounds like the actual script and plot will have very little to do with any of the stories in the book. Rather, Fox is using Asimov's name to sell what is likely to be a mediocre movie. Will Smith can be entertaining, but Crap made from crap is still crap. Boy I hope this isn't as bad as I think it will be. They who know me, know me. They who do not shall.

actually (2)

seizer (16950) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809529)

There seems to be a quite strong resemblance to Little Lost Robot, in which a first law modification allows a robot to not intervene, when a human is at risk.

The movie is a futuristic thriller in which a detective investigates a crime that might have been perpetrated by a robot, even though that seems an impossibility given those three prevailing rules.

Unfortunately it immediately degenerates into predictable tripe:

"The big idea here is that if the robots have found a way to violate the laws, there is nothing to stop them from taking over, because the human race is so dependent on robots and automation"

"Nothing" to stop them taking over? Nothing except Will Smith, of course. D'oh!

It's a Good Thing (5, Insightful)

MongooseCN (139203) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809364)

When a movie comes out based on a book, it stirs people to read the book. If the movie never came out, then those people would never read it.

Re:It's a Good Thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4809453)

that only works well when the movie is good, which is where i believe the uncertainty lies.

Re:It's a Good Thing (2, Insightful)

RyoSaeba (627522) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809495)

Yeah, but if the movie is bad, then people will not bother to read the book, guessing it's bad too....
And if the movie is good, people won't bother reading the book, since they (will think they) know the story already....
Honestly, i've almost always been disappointed by movies taken from books...

Wasn't I, Robot a collection of short stories? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4809365)

If so, WHICH one of them? Like all of Asimov's writing, some of it is very good and some of it is less good.

Is Will Smith going to rap in this movie too? (3, Funny)

rob-fu (564277) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809366)

Because it seems like he's rapped about every other one too (Men in Black, Wild Wild West, etc). I wonder what it will sound like, and will it have 'ha ha, ha ha' at the end of every line.

Re:Is Will Smith going to rap in this movie too? (2, Funny)

Erik K. Veland (574016) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809395)

Yeah, that Ali rap was hillarious.

"I am the greatest - uh uh
I am the greatest - uh uh"

Re:Is Will Smith going to rap in this movie too? (1)

Shadukar (102027) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809519)

Music for this?

Kraftwerk :)

Re:Is Will Smith going to rap in this movie too? (2, Insightful)

raistlinjones (246692) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809521)

I really doubt it. If it's a serious movie (and it seems like it would be), then his rap wouldn't really fit. He didn't rap for Bagger Vance (at least, i don't THINK he did).

5 rules for robotic actors (4, Funny)

Trusty Penfold (615679) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809369)

First Law:
A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

Second Law:
A robot must obey orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

Third Law:
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law

Fourth Law:

Fifth Law:
Profit !!!

Re:5 rules for robotic actors (-1)

count_sporkula (446625) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809391)

heh, nicely done :)

lameness filter gubbins:
Play popex it's GRATE! Get 5 large to spend on your favourite bands and watch values rise and fall as other players trade... earn dividends based on real chart positions and win prizes. Possibly.

Re:5 rules for robotic actors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4809398)

hmm... i'm sure hollywood will replace 'human being' with 'american' - wouldn't want to appear unpatriotic at this time...

Re:5 rules for robotic actors (4, Informative)

droopus (33472) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809404)

Doh, your forgot Zeroth Law [] dude.

A robot may not injure humanity or, through inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.

Which of course alters First law: A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm, except where that would conflict with the Zeroth Law.

Re:5 rules for robotic actors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4809418)

As long as the changes don't propagate down and alter the 5th law, it doesn't really matter.

Speaking of the 3 laws of robotics. (5, Interesting)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809434)

I liked the story of Asimov and Clark attending the opening to 2001.

As HAL is killing the astronauts

Asimov: "They're violating the three laws of robotics!"

Clark: "So strike them down with lightning, Issac."

Kind of tells you something about the two of them, doesn't it?

Re:5 rules for robotic actors... In Soviet Russia. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4809476)

In Soviet Russia, robots have three rules for humans...

Fourth Law? (2)

tomzyk (158497) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809542)

Wasn't there a fourth law (in later books?) saying something to the effect that a robot cannot create and/or (re-)program another robot? Or maybe that was just something I discussed with my geek friends 10 years ago and didn't actually read it. (memory fails after so many years of college and alcohol.)

Why no Foundation? (5, Interesting)

droopus (33472) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809372)

As a real Asimov fan (I even named my daughter Bliss after the character in Foundation's Edge and Foundation and Earth) I'm still surprised no one has taken the Foundation series and brought it to the screen. It seems such a natural movie script, with at least four or five great movies to pull out of the series.

Anyone know why it has never been proposed as a project by Hollywood?

Re:Why no Foundation? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4809431)

Bliss? That sounds like an orgasmic name. Is your daughter going to grow up to be a pornstar?

Re:Why no Foundation? (1)

Ringlord (82097) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809459)

The books don't have enough sex and violence!

Re:Why no Foundation? (2, Insightful)

RyoSaeba (627522) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809460)

It would be a real pain to make movies. The first books are short stories collections, so i'd rather see a mini series.
The second point is that the story isn't particularly spectacular itself. I mean, fine, save humanity & such, but no real fights, it's more political, psychological, about ideas (so can't easily be ported to screen) than anything else...

I'm also a big Asimov fan (haven't seen Bicentennial Man though), but i'd rather have Foundation not adapted than adapted in a bad movie ^_-

Re:Why no Foundation? (2)

sg_oneill (159032) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809461)

Perhaps "Foundation" is waiting for Peter Jackson to finish with the LOTR series so someone can hit it with the respect and the budget it deserves.

Re:Why no Foundation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4809504)

Forth will rise again

Make that: forth rise dup2

Re:Why no Foundation? (2)

benwb (96829) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809465)

I love foundation too but I don't think it would be a very successful movie, at least if they did the original trilogy. In the first three books all of the action happens behind the scenes so to speak- you hear characters talk about it after the fact and plan it, but you never actually see anything happen. Sure, you could add it in, but then it really wouldn't be the same at all- you might as well remake dune. (I always sort of though of Paul Atreides as a really violent pissed off Hari Seldon)

Re:Why no Foundation? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809475)

It seems such a natural movie script, with at least four or five great movies to pull out of the series.

Uh.. Narration? This is why many great books don't make great movies, or can be excessively hard to make movies of. Where the story mostly dialogue, it'd be easy, but my only read was Robots of Dawn and IIRC Asimov is as heavy on narration, to establish things as other writers, which is tough to do in a movie.

Re:Why no Foundation? (2)

battjt (9342) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809489)

It would be an 80 hour movie. There is a lot of material there.

The Asimov Fondation series is a must read, so you can read the Brin, Bear, Benford Foundation books, which are so much better.

Asimov has a real nack for plot and story, I just get tired of the simple phrasing. I don't want my fiction to read like a tech manual.


Re:Why no Foundation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4809543)

I don't want my fiction to read like a tech manual.
Though, by the sounds of it, you do want it to read like a second-rate ripoff. Brin, Bear and Benford's "Foundation's Propped-Up Corpse", "Foundation's Franchise Milk" and "Help Me Foundation, I Need Money" are dross.

Re:Why no Foundation? (2, Insightful)

revery (456516) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809540)

Foundation, Ender's Game, many of Arthur C. Clarke's novels, and lots of other sci-fi classics are proposed every year, sometimes several times a year to different studios.
Usually, there is some sort of timing or technological issue that makes them unacceptable, such as an interested director being available along with the requisite actors, and interested studio, a period of time since the last sci-fi movie was released, the belief that they can convincingly and interestingly sell the message of the book and still make a tidy profit, etc.

With Ender's Game, the issue is the number of capable child actors needed for the film. In the case of the Foundation series, from what I understand, most script writers have a problem balancing the story between highlighting the ideals of Hari Seldon (the decay of civilization, the development of psychohistory, etc) and an action packed engaging film. Most scripts have either been snoozers (i.e. geeks would probably like them, but everybody else would... YAWN.... zzzz) or an overly action packed filmed that would alienate the diehard fans and make the movie seem to be The Fast and the Furious II: The Psychohistorian's Gambit.

Mis-casting? (3, Insightful)

cstrommen (254974) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809374)

Is it just me or does Will Smith seem like a very bad choice for this film?

I'm a big Asimov fan (robot/foundation series), but I really can't see Will Smith playing in this. Even in his most serious films (have not seen Ali yet, so I don't know about that one) he's often playing a comic character, and this doesn't exactly fit in the "I Robot" story.

Anybody else that have read the book(s) that like to comment on this?

Re:Mis-casting? (1)

Erik K. Veland (574016) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809407)

Jim Carrey pretty much surprised everyone in The Truman Show so there's still hope for the fresh prince.

Re:Mis-casting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4809414)

Don't bother watching Ali. It is BORING.

Re:Mis-casting? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4809417)

Actually, Will can act, he certainly was not a comic in Ali, he was a believeable character, he was Ali. Unfortunately the script sucked. I hope the same isn't true for I, robot.

Re:Mis-casting? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4809429)

Well, remember there were the two technicians (Greg Powell, Mike Donovan) dealing with the tests for the hyperspace drive, the Mercury station and the team of mining robots. I could see Will playing one of those characters. What I think would be the most important is casting the role of Susan Calvin, the robopsychologist. I think her role is much more important in bringing out the subtleties of the issues in the robots.

Re:Mis-casting? (5, Insightful)

benwb (96829) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809477)

One film that you should see before you make any judgements about Will Smith's range: Six Degrees of Seperation. He was absolutely amazing in it, and definitely not comic relief.

Re:Mis-casting? (5, Informative)

Amoeba (55277) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809508)

Is it just me or does Will Smith seem like a very bad choice for this film?

I'm not so certain. Smith can act in serious roles, it's just that he's more well known for his comedic characters. My initial thought was Will Smith was a bad choice until I hit IMDB to satisfy the voice in my head that said he's never done a serious role well. Where the Day Takes You was a strong non-comedy role of Smith's. Great friggin movie. And though I didn't like Ali much he did a credible job of portraying one of the most well-known sports figures in history.


How long before... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809509)

How long before you see/hear:

Will pull out a big-ass gun

Say something macho like, "You will not shoot that green shit at me!"

"quelle horreur!"

Arrgghhh !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4809376)

is he going to play Elijah Balley ???

tough job (3, Interesting)

katalyst (618126) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809380)

Well, its a tough job. Assimov books won't make typical sc-fi movies, coz they involve a lot of pyschology,human behaviour and other (usually) mundane elements. Bicentennial Man was a decent attempt and Williams did a good job , but the movie wasn't a complete exerience. It left much to be desired. I guess we can expect to see a lot of eye-candy.
Why doesn't anyone attack the Foundation Series ? The Traders will look good on screen and so will the heroics of the various Terminus Mayors :) But , I must admit, they will be open to a helluva lota speculation/criticism/appreciation.

Relatively old news.... (5, Informative)

imac.usr (58845) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809384)

The good folks at Coming Attractions have been following this production [] for quite some time now.

I'm a big fan of the stories as well, and am at least curious to see how they translate to the big screen.

CA also has a page on efforts to bring another classic Asimov story [] to the big screen...

Huh..Really? (1)

DCram (459805) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809386)

Well I guess when you think about it the casting director prolly thought..'Hmm..Who can we get who already has a robot like acting style?' Really thought I think as long as he doesnt improv and stays true he could do an excelent job.

Asimov (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4809387)

Isn't he the guy that made all those cool pictures of clocks and wierd 3d stuff that flows together?

Re:Asimov (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4809438)

No, that was Kasparov.

Re:Asimov (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4809488)

The clocks were Dali.

The "wierd 3d stuff" was Escher.

yadayada (1)

KrunZ (247479) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809388)

Hollywood got its Will again

Atari Version (4, Interesting)

bjb (3050) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809389)

Sleepy eyes and brain made me think "They're making I, Robot (as in the Atari game) into a movie?". What, is it going to be like Tron 2.0 and they're going to redo the polygons or something?

If you're not familiar with it, I, Robot [] by Atari was the first video game to use 3D filled polygons. Pretty darn impressive at the time (1983).

Hmmmm... maybe.... (2)

donnacha (161610) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809393)

Smith can be entertaining to watch but I just can't imagine his hyperactive persona portraying a robot with any of the dignity Asimov ascribed to them.

Certainly, I can't see him matching Haley Joel Osment's performance in AI.

The article mentions that the film adaption is going to basically be a murder mystery, I just hope that Smith is going to play the cop/private dick/whatever rather than one of Asimov's real stars.

Smith not a robot (2)

jpatokal (96361) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809439)

Smith can be entertaining to watch but I just can't imagine his hyperactive persona portraying a robot with any of the dignity Asimov ascribed to them.

The article doesn't say what role Smith will be playing, but it says the plot will revolve around a detective investigating a murder. The robots in I, Robot aren't humaniform, so odds are Smith will be playing the detective.


Re:Smith not a robot (2)

jgerman (106518) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809511)

Hmmm, that sounds more like the plot to Robots of Dawn to me. Wonder what the likelihood is that, as someone mentioned above, HW is attempting to cash in on the Asimov name by 1) writing a new movie 2) using a popular sci fi book as it's "source" and most importantly 3) being the total fuck up retards that they are, coming up with a plot that has allready been done in another book by the same author?

I really have difficulty seeing Will Smith fit into any Asimov world. I swear to god, if I hear the word yo, or jiggy, or he raps a song for the soundtrack I'll lose my mind. That's all well and good for MIB, but I really don't need to see his hip hop style applied to Asimov.

Shooting Will Smith? (2, Funny)

russx2 (572301) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809394)

Shooting starts April 2003? Not soon enough! But seriously, I loved the original stories and for all Will Smith is annoying, I think he could pull of the detective roll pretty well.

The inevitable chart song, however, seems a different story...

Re:Shooting Will Smith? (2)

sporty (27564) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809458)

Then maybe they should take your first sentence a little more literal and just shoot him :)

Dichotomy (4, Interesting)

mbourgon (186257) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809400)

Plus: Alex Proyas (Dark City, The Crow)
Minus: Will Smith

Plus: Asimov premise
Minus: Hollywood adaptation

Plus: Will Smith as a robot wouldn't strain his acting ability
Minus: Smith might play the human

Plus: clever ideas, cool story
Minus: probably will be shot as a scifi/comedy

This could be interesting. For the love of god, though, don't let Will Smith play his "normal" character (remember Wild Wild West? That was supposed to be Jim West?). Give him someone else to play - we know he can act, even if he chooses not to.

Re:Dichotomy (1)

KrunZ (247479) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809549)

Plus: Robin Williams did not get the part

Minus: Will Smith did get the part

I Robot? Wrong book (5, Informative)

91degrees (207121) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809401)

from the article: The movie is a futuristic thriller in which a detective investigates a crime that might have been perpetrated by a robot, even though that seems an impossibility given those three prevailing rules.

Doesn't this sound more like Caves of Steel?

Interestingly, Caves of Steel has been made into a TV movie before []

Well, at least... (2)

Aanallein (556209) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809402)

At least it's better than Robin Williams, who made me singlehandedly not watch Bicentennial Man, no matter how much of an Asimov fan I am.
I still think this is going to suck, but at least I might watch this one...

Re:Well, at least... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4809492)

Robin Williams automatically makes a movie suck, and Will Smith only might make a movie suck? wtf?

Will Smith? (3, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809409)

"... Being a huge Asimov fan I have not made up my mind if this is a good or bad thing. "

Man. I understand your mixed feelings on this one. It's like being a Judge Dredd fan and wathing Stallone unmask and otherwise butcher a legend. Considering Smith's recent work, I have the feeling I must miss this one, as I just can't see him doing a good serious acting job. Can anyone vouch a good bit of dramatic work he's actually done? Seems like a blunder in the making.

Now Wil Wheaton, that's another story ;-)

This is a test (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4809412)

This is a test of the emergency goatse [] system. If this had been a real emergency, I would have posted a link to goatse purpoting to be further information. We now return to your regularly scheduled Slashdot.

Not good idea, I think (1)

AstroMage (566990) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809433)

"I, Robot" is as much a philosophical discussion as it is a Sci-Fi book.
I doubt Holywood will do it justice.
With Will Smith starring, the movie will probably turn out to be a comedy-action flick, and will not do justice to the original.

Oh, well, we'll see...

Which robot? (3, Informative)

Luke-Jr (574047) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809443)

Which robot is Will Smith playing? If I remember, there is at least 9 different main robots in `I, Robot', one for each story: Bobbie, Reason, Liar!, Runaround, Catch That Rabbit, Escape, Evidence, Little Lost Robot, and The Evitable Conflict...

The script was already there (5, Informative)

EkiM in De (574327) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809447)

I doubt that this is going to be a reasonably faithful adaptation from the book we all know and love:
The project originated as "Hardwired," a futuristic script by Jeff Vintar that was amalgamated with elements of "I, Robot" when Fox bought rights to Asimov's landmark book.

Basically Fox bought the rights, transplanted the name onto an existing script and then added a few elements from the book to avoid rejection. Either that or the script was a complete rip-off of the book anyway that they just brought in a few elements that were missing....

Only time and release schedules will tell.

3 words (2)

docbrown42 (535974) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809448)

"Wild, Wild West"

Wil Smith totally ruined that movie. I hope he doesn't ruin this one (but I'm not holding my breath).

Re:3 words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4809503)

are you saying that movie was salvagable?

"Yo homes to Bel-Air!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4809450)

"Yo homes to Bel-Air!"

Not using Ellison's script? (2, Insightful)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809451)

They're not using Harlan Ellison's script [] . So I expect that this will suck rocks.

Re:Not using Ellison's script? (2)

gripdamage (529664) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809532)

I remember reading Ellison's screenplay and thinking: here's a movie that would have amazing special effects and is a great story.

So is Hollywood going to use it? Of course not!

Naturally Will Smith (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4809470)

will fuck up a decent book portrayed in film. Some foolish asswipe thinks MIB translates into money for I Robot. Jive rapping numbnutz. This character NEVER appeared in any Asimov book. Why inject it now?
Much like the two attempts to render Dune, by Herbert on the screen, it will be pathetic. Will really ought to get back to his roots and leave the Science Fiction alone. BTW, the SciFi Channel is lame. You people would not know decent ScfFi if it bit you on your ass. Read Bester. Get educated.

Didn't we have this debate before? (5, Informative)

LittleGuy (267282) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809471)

Back in 1989, when Michael Keaton was cast for Tim Burton's Batman? And after the franchise has run its course, Keaton is arguably the best of the "Dark Knight" movie versions.

Will Smith has done great drama like "Six Degrees of Separation" (and tried again in "The Legend of Bagger Vance"), so I recognize the potential.

Will Smith will not make or break the movie on his own. Alex Proyas gives me high hopes, and it's still up in the air who will co-star (Joanne Woodward was envisioned when Ellison wrote his version of the screenplay).

The project originated as "Hardwired," a futuristic script by Jeff Vintar that was amalgamated with elements of "I, Robot" when Fox bought rights to Asimov's landmark book. Subsequent drafts of the script have been done by Hillary Seitz ("Insomnia") and Oscar-winning "A Beautiful Mind" scribe Akiva Goldsman, who wrote the last draft and is expected to be a prevailing presence on the picture.

This script has much parentage, and whether it meshes together as something worthwhile is still a big question.

Actually (2)

Apreche (239272) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809487)

There has been a screenplay for a movie of I. Robot around for a long time. I've owned it for at least 5 years, the book is at my home (I'm in college) or I'd tell you who published it and what not. I'm sure you can find it on Amazon. But after reading it I can assure you that if the movie they are making follows that screenplay you are in for a high quality movie.

Whoring (3, Informative)

His name cannot be s (16831) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809494)

Scoop Feedback:

December 8, 1998... We heard of the title and the gist of the story before, but with the script stuck in turnaround there was nothing to report on. Then this email rolled onto our hard drive:

"20th Century Fox just picked this script up in turnaround from Walt Disney. It's an old-fashioned murder mystery, really, sort of like an Agatha Christie, I guess. Except that all of the suspects in the murder are artificial intelligences of varying degrees of intelligence. A pretty dog-gone cool idea. Bryan Singer was attached to direct at Disney, with Laurence Mark producing, although that may change now. Still, a cool project resurrected by Fox, from a spec script sale by Jeff Vintar from a few years back. Might be worth keeping an eye on?"

If Fox has picked up the project then things might warm up a bit. We'll keep our ears open for anything. [Scooped by anonymous.]
February 9, 1999... Last Friday we were told that the week before director Alex Proyas (Dark City, The Crow) had been on the Twentieth Century Fox lot "talking about doing a sci-fi project for Fox, something about computers, I don't know which project, but it looks like he's signing on," our scooper told us.

The next day we were then hailed by one of our known contacts that indeed Proyas had been shuttling around the Fox lot because he was signing the contract to direct Hardwired. Andrew Mason and Laurence Mark are the producers. We've no idea if Proyas is shooting with Vintar's present script or a rewrite. Fox is expected to make the Hardwired announcement soon...but now you have something to talk about at the water cooler. [Two anonymous sources will receive Valentine's Day cards from us.]

February 18, 1999... A reader's review of the Vintar script has arrived in our Inbox...

"I was very excited to read your latest scoop regarding Alex Proyas signing on to direct Hard Wired. This script has been sitting on my desk for over a year now, and it's one of the best original sci-fi screenplays I've read -- it baffles me that it's taken so long for it to move up the production chain.

"Basically, Hard Wired is a futuristic murder mystery that reads a lot like a stage play - only a handful of principal characters, and the whole story takes place in just a few rooms inside the same building (although it could never actually be a play because some of the visuals are just too far out). The story surrounds the murder of a renowned research scientist where the prime suspects are a robot and an AI computer. Or maybe it was a suicide. Who knows? A detective from the FBI's AI division is assigned to investigate, and a very convoluted and clever mystery unfolds. All they need to do is change the name of the main character (FBI agent Del Spooner - yuk) and they'll have a winner on their hands. I hope this one makes it onto the screen just as it is on the page, because it's a terrific screenplay. Geeks everywhere should wish this one luck..."

[Script review tendered by 'Agent 4125'.]

March 30, 1999... One of our name-withheld sources gave us a quick update as to why we haven't heard any announcement that Alex Proyas would be the film's new director: "Bryan Singer does not want to give up his contractual right to follow this project from its turnaround at Disney to Fox. Lots of embarrassed faces all around--and disappointed ones--now that Fox is unable to pursue the film immediately with Proyas. A terrific project falls back into limbo for the indefinite future...." [Anonymous.]

February 2, 2000... We were wondering if we'd ever find out what happened to Proyas' involvement with Hardwired...and our scooper's returned to tell us the latest:

"Alex Proyas is in Los Angeles shooting a short project, and also meeting with executives on Hardwired, which is expected be his next film. Work on the final shooting script begins in February."

[Credit anonymous.]

March 8, 2000... Here's the scoop from a new face we haven't seen before, 'The Robot Fighter':

"Fox is sending Vintar to Australia to work on a production polish of Hardwired with Alex Proyas. Hopes are high that this will go before the cameras soon. Fans of this sceenplay should be pleased!

"By the way, the new producer on deck is Christopher Dow, replacing Andrew Mason, who no longer works with Mr. Proyas. That is in addition to Laurence Mark, who had this project set up once at Disney."

[Like we said, 'The Robot Fighter' is the guy who sent this one in.]

May 22, 2000... Okay, it's a bit odd, but Fox Foxey wants to tell you where they are with this one. The Vintar bit we knew about, but the second half of this--the part dealing with Asimov--is kinda wild. See for yourself:

"I understand that Vintar will be writing a second draft (the first being his original spec) this summer, and that Fox and Proyas would like to film by the end of the year, or early in 2001. It depends in part on whether or not Proyas and company can whip their Masque of the Red Death script into shape, which Proyas was supposed to direct first, with Hardwired coming right after.

"Another wrinkle is that Fox is negotiating for the rights to the title I, Robot in the hope of producing a series of robot films.

"The studio feels that the Hardwired spec makes for a far better film story than an adaptation of the Asimov stories would be, and is planning to rename this project I, Robot, and I guess insert Susan Calvin and other Asimov elements into the script! So this would be the first film in the I, Robot series, which would presumably begin to adapt the actual Asimov stories in the first sequel. Sort of weird, but....

"If you read the spec, which was sold way back in 1995 to Hollywood Pictures with Bryan Singer originally attached to direct, you know this isn't really a bad idea. Or at least, the story is intelligent and cool enough that you could see it happening.

"But if Fox doesn't get the Asimov rights, expect it to go ahead under its original title.... Anyways, this could be a big tent pole pic! Either way, the robots are coming in 2001, first in A.I., and then in Hardwired!"

Okay, that's a little strange. But we posted it here because that's how Lawnmower Man got made, so we know that Hollywood has such strangeness in them. There is precedent. [Fox Foxey did it.]

July 20, 2000... One of our faithful regulars sent word to us that Davis Entertainment is now coming aboard to help speed along this project. Word from our man is that Davis will be bringing the rights from an unmentioned Isacc Asimov property (Robots of Dawn, perhaps?)

The complete list of cast, as sent to us by our source:

Director: Alex Proyas

Writer: Jeff Vintar, based on his spec script, Hardwired; with characters & concepts from the short story collection by Isaac Asimov

Producers: Topher Dow, Mystery Clock Cinema;
Laurence Mark, Laurence Mark Productions;
John Davis, Davis Entertainment

Exec producer: Wyck Godfrey, Davis Entertainment

Fox execs: Peter Rice, Emma Watts

And it's supposed to be the first in a proposed series of robot films!

[Scooped by our anonymous friend.]

October 28, 2000... Our anonymous friend returns. And after all this talk, when we contacted other sources close to the production they merely said, "News coming soon." Here's sooner than soon.

"The producer deals are now done. Hardwired has now officially become the first film in Fox's proposed I, Robot film series, serving as a sort of prequel to the stories we know...A draft by Jeff Vintar should be in by the end of the year, based on the Hardwired spec script by Vintar, with some characters and concepts from the I, Robot short stories [I assume Susan Calvin and the Three Laws, but I don't know for sure]. Proyas will probably direct this as his next big studio feature. He is filming a small Australian comedy right now, something about a rock band, and I, Robot will probably be his next one, filming late in 2001 [no way they could make it before the proposed strikes, so I have to assume it will fall into the schedule soon after]. An interesting project to say the least with that popular spec [Bryan Singer was attached to make it for Hollywood Pictures before they went belly up], and of course the great Asimov properties, and with Alex Proyas!"

[Our anonymous friend strikes again.]

September 18, 2001... A robotic squirrel ran onto our ledge today and then proceeded to tell us the following:

"This film is very close to a greenlight now on Vintar's third draft. Proyas directing. I hear that Will Smith is considering signing on to play the male lead Detective. No word yet as to who might play Asimov's Doctor Calvin. The script is being guarded better than Fort Knox, but they say that it is true to both the original spec script while also being a cool intro to the 'I, Robot' world, and has a shot at being the best A.I. film ever made. [Not that this would be too hard after Bicentennial Man and A.I.!] Anyway, it all sounds hopeful. Producers on the project are Laurence Mark and John Davis. Expect this to film at Fox's Australia studios next spring!"

[We gave the chittering 'FoxMania' a couple of nuts, then he dashed away into the trees.]

Laurence Mark and John Davis are indeed producers working on the script, so that part of our furry friend's message checks out.

February 14, 2002... Our next scooper has been proven to be 100% legitimate. The last time they contacted CA, it was to tell us that Charlie's Angels director McG had been hired to helm Superman 5. That was in October 2001, and today the official announcement finally appeared in the industry trade magazine Variety. Need we say more about our scooper's credentials?

Today we'll spill what new information they've told us. Considering where this information comes from, we think it tells you precisely what's going on right now with the Hardwired movie project...and who might be cast as the movie's leading man.

"This film is getting ready to roll this fall at the Fox Sydney studies under the direction of Alex Proyas. Tentative start date is September. The studio is going out to cast soon, and you can expect them to start at the top, Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, etc. The script is being guarded tightly, but those who have read it say it is just fantastic, and wonder if such a script can really make it through the studio without being dumbed down. Not an adaptation of any one Asimov story, based on an original script, but one that serves as a prequel and an introduction to Susan Calvin and the 'I, Robot' world. Design work on that world and the robots has already begun down under. Look for this at Christmas time, 2003. Remember you heard it from..."

[...our anonymous friend. And we thank you again, sir.]

February 19, 2002... While being interviewed by Moviehole, director Alex Proyas seemed to confirm what our inside sources have been telling us this past year. "[Hardwired] will probably be my next movie and we are hoping to start shooting before the end of this year," Proyas told the website. "The project is actually called I Robot and is based on the stories of Isaac Asimov. It's a murder mystery where the main suspect is an extremely advanced robot."

[Thanks to Clint at Moviehole.]

April 29, 2002... Don't blame the messenger; we're just telling you what we ourselves were told:

"Fox took a great script and gave it to the two geniuses responsible for last summer's Planet of the Apes disaster, Larry Rosenthal and Mark Konner. You can guess what happened. Everyone who read the original was thrilled. Anyone who reads this one is going to battle their gag reflex. Let's hope somebody in charge comes to their d--n senses, or this is going to be yet another piece a shit. Oh wait what I saying? This is Fox. The movie never had a chance...." [This timebomb left behind by 'Doom Patrol'.]

August 16, 2002... A new scooper tells us that a new production office has been set up at Fox Studios Australia for the next Alex Proyas project. "It's marked as I ROBOT and has car spaces for Antoine Simkine, Liz Keogh and Alex Proyas," writes our pal. "Looks very promising for I ROBOT kicking off in the near future." [That's the news from Kelvin.]

November 26, 2002... We've been doing this for a few years, so we've managed to forge relationships with some Hollywood insiders; people who know about this film stuff before we do, people we trust because what they've told us before has come to pass. People like our next scooper.

"Everyone in town knows Will Smith has been dancing around this project--once again--for weeks now," writes our red friend. "He'll have to make his final decision soon, as the project is still gearing up for a spring start." So how long with Fox let Smith go before he has to make that final decision?

[Name withheld.]

December 2, 2002... We've been getting scoops from Hollywood and Australian insiders about this project for a couple of years, but today we heard a bit of news from a Vancouver spy about Alex Proyas' I Robot project. According to our source the project has quietly moved into development and is looking around Vancouver for "things". Whether that means the film is seeking studio space and will shoot partly in Canada remains unclear. Still, our man on the inside tells us that the buzz is that it's shaping up to be planned for a summer release..."Which summer I dont know."


December 3, 2002... Another one of our anonymous insiders (this time it's a different fellow) tells us that the word is I Robot is being targeted for a summer 2004 release with a spring 2003 start of production. [Name withheld too.]

December 4, 2002... It was more than a year ago we first told you that Will Smith was one of the leading candidates for starring in I, Robot. As recently as last month, another of our inside connections told us that time was growing short for Smith and he would have to make a decision about starring in the film or moving on to some other project. Finally we can report that today we have proof that our inside connections were indeed 100% correct.

In today's issues of Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, both magazines report that Will Smith is in talks to play the lead in I, Robot with Alex Proyas attached to direct. And also reported in the trades is what we told you about yesterday, that production is scheduled to commence in spring 2003. [Sources: Variety, Hollywood Reporter.]

The dual stories in Reporter and Variety could very well be an attempt by someone -- whether it's the studio, a producer, whomever -- to drum up buzz and get Smith to commit to the project. That very well might happen now.

A Viewpoint (2, Interesting)

boris_the_hacker (125310) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809497)

I dont really read Asimov and therefore couldn't really call myself a fan. I also havent read the book.So I wont make a comment.

But I do wish to comment on Will Smith. Personally I really like him as an actor. In MIB he was funny. In Enemy Of The State and Ali he played non comic characters in non comic films and pulled it off. Both those films where good [imho] and in Ali he did a great job. I am looking forward to seeing Will Smith on screen again to see how he does again.

So, yes, the point, please dont slate Will Smith before you have seen him in these two [more] serious films as he isn't such a bad actor and may just suprise you.

Ok, I see how it is... (0, Flamebait)

scruggs_style (624106) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809520)

"I have not made up my mind if this is a good or bad thing"

It's cause I'm black, isn't it?

Will Smith.

Short Stories? (2, Insightful)

renderhead (206057) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809522)

I'm surprised that more people haven't pointed this out, but isn't I, Robot a collection of short stories, some of which are set decades apart from one another? I can't imagine this being a good thing(TM) for the book's reputation, since anyone reading the book because of the movie will be surprised to find that the two are nothing alike. I just hope that they leave Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles alone. Someone produced a terrible miniseries from it years ago, and I can only imagine how bad a condensed, 2-hour version would be.

What's the connection? (-1)

CmderTaco (533794) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809544)

There's no connection between that annoying rapper and I, Robot. And.. the more important this is: Who's gonna take the role of Susan Calvin? I vote for Daria.

Robot as ferengi (2, Funny)

joelwest (38708) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809546)

Wouldnt it be great if instead of the Laws of robotics they programmed robots with the rules of aquisition?

Oh wait.. that's Hollywood isn't it?

Alex Proyas (2)

Nept (21497) | more than 11 years ago | (#4809548)

dude... I don't see how you can complain. Alex Proyas would be perfect for this kind of sci-fi movie. My first choice would be Ridley Scott (Blade runner, Alien) but Proyas will do a good job as well.
I'm a little surprised with Will Smith, but he's a versatile actor and probably looking for a new script that has a high potential for sequels. I imagine if Proyas shoots even a moderately successful sci-fi flick, some of the other robot movies will go into the works as well.

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