Washington D.C. [USA]: As the world grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic, the makers of upcoming sci-fi movie 'b' have partially sorted out the casting- by roping in a robot.
At a time, when producers are figuring out how to open their production process safely, this AI robot, named Erica, will be seen as the lead actor in a USD 70 million science fiction film, which producers say will be the first to rely on an artificially intelligent actor.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bondit Capital Media, which financed titles such as 'To the Bone' and the Oscar-nominated 'Loving Vincent', Belgium-based Happy Moon Productions and New York's Ten Ten Global Media, have committed to back 'b.'
The forthcoming movie revolves around the story of a scientist who discovers dangers associated with a programme he created to perfect human DNA and then eventually helps the artificially intelligent woman he designed (Erica) escape.
The movie will be coming from the visual effect supervisors - Eric Pham, Tarek Zohdy, and Sam Khoze, and is bankrolled through Life Entertainment.
Japanese scientists Hiroshi Ishiguro and Kohei Ogawa, who created Erica in real life as part of their study of robotics, also taught her to act, applying the principles of method acting to artificial intelligence, according to Khoze.
"In other methods of acting, actors involve their own life experiences in the role. But Erica has no life experiences. She was created from scratch to play the role. We had to simulate her motions and emotions through one-on-one sessions, such as controlling the speed of her movements, talking through her feelings, and coaching character development and body language," the publication quoted Khoze as saying.
Erica was originally set to debut in a different project that was to have been directed by Tony Kaye, but producers parted with Kaye over scheduling.
However, the director of 'b' and the human co-star for Erica are not yet attached, but producers filmed some of her scenes in Japan in 2019. They expect to shoot the rest of 'b' in Europe in June next year.