Hollywood Just Cast a Robot Actress in a $70 Million Movie

Automated Entertainment

An upcoming movie will take the concept of robotic acting to an entirely new level.

The leading role of the upcoming $70 million science-fiction film “b” will be played by a humanoid robot named Erica, according to The Hollywood Reporter. While the movie is still in its early stages — it’s missing some crucial parts like, you know, a director — it’s sure to be an interesting world-first for what has traditionally been a very human-centric industry.

Improv 101

Since Erica the robot will be playing a robot in the film, it may be more appropriate to say it’s part of the effects budget than a cast member — but the roboticists who built Erica say that they explicitly programmed in acting skills and facial expressions.

“In other methods of acting, actors involve their own life experiences in the role,” producer Sam Khoze told The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”

Creative Differences

The original plan was to debut Erica in an earlier film, but scheduling conflicts got in the way, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

But this time around, the producers of “b” are plowing ahead: they’ve already filmed some of Erica’s scenes and hope to finish shooting next year once they nail down pesky things like a director and human co-stars.

READ MORE: A.I. Robot Cast in Lead Role of $70M Sci-Fi Film [The Hollywood Reporter]

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