Vertical Entertainment has released the first trailer for Gavin Rothery’s debut film, Archive, which looks as though it’s a bit of a mix of Ex Machina-and Black Mirror about a man who’s trying to bring back his late partner.
What could go wrong?
Rothery’s name might not ring a bell, but you’ve probably seen his work: he was the production designer and visual effects supervisor of Duncan Jones’ 2009 film Moon, directed the introductory film for the 2014 Respawn game Titanfall, and helmed the intriguing short film The Last Man in 2015.
Now, he’s completed his first feature film, Archive. Set in 2038, scientist George Almore (Theo James) has been working on a cutting-edge artificial intelligence and robotics project, with the goal of producing a human-like machine intelligence. However, he has an ulterior motive: his wife (Stacy Martin) died in a traffic accident, and it looks as though he’s trying to bring her back with a combination of her digitized consciousness and a lifelike robot. Judging from the trailer, it looks as though that the copy has other things in mind.
Bringing back a dead loved one is a time-tested trope for science fiction: just look at films like Replicas, or the Black Mirror episode “Be Right Back.” Scientists working to perfect a life-like robot that yearns for its freedom or something other than what it was before is another well-trod path.
But, Rothery has produced some interesting work over the years (it looks like a version of the Lunar base from Moon make a return), and the footage from this trailer looks absolutely gorgeous.
The film had been slated to debut at SXSW, but after it was canceled, Vertical Entertainment snapped up the North American theatrical rights with the intent of releasing the film on July 10th in theaters. Given the ongoing Coronoavirus pandemic, we’ll have to see if Archive will stay the course or find another way to reach audiences.