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The Creator trailer reveals an AI war epic from Star Wars: Rogue One director

Tenet’s John David Washington leads the grand original action film

Matt Patches is an executive editor at Polygon. He has over 15 years of experience reporting on movies and TV, and reviewing pop culture.

Look, I don’t actually think ChatGPT will one day evolve into Skynet, but I can’t help but be a little nervous about the great unknowns of artificial intelligence. So, if anyone is going to prey on my paranoia for grand spectacle, I’m glad it’s director Gareth Edwards. Edwards is the guy behind the low-budget marvel Monsters, the completely underrated 2014 Godzilla reboot, and the divisive-but-gorgeous Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. He hasn’t done much since the 2016 prequel, but dang, the wait appears to be worth it: The trailer for his new film The Creator goes hard on imagining an post-apocalypse tale steeped in our big questions about AI.

The Creator stars John David Washington (Tenet, BlacKkKlansman) as a soldier surviving a war between humans and an artificial intelligence that has already nuked Los Angeles. (Folks, this is why the WGA is striking for AI regulations!). Here’s the official summary:

Joshua (Washington), a hardened ex-special forces agent grieving the disappearance of his wife (Gemma Chan), is recruited to hunt down and kill the Creator, the elusive architect of advanced AI who has developed a mysterious weapon with the power to end the war… and mankind itself. Joshua and his team of elite operatives journey across enemy lines, into the dark heart of AI-occupied territory… only to discover the world-ending weapon he’s been instructed to destroy is an AI in the form of a young child.

Personally, I hate it when the world-ending weapon I’ve been instructed to destroy is an AI in the form of a young child. Sucks.

Like a blend between Edwards’ grounded vision for Monsters and the no-expense-spared production design of Rogue One, The Creator looks deeply considered and massively scaled without losing any of the human element. The Terminator and Matrix comparisons are obvious, but the sensitivity of Steven Spielberg’s A.I.: Artificial Intelligence seems to be in there, too. If the vision wasn’t enough, the cast is stacked: Ken Watanabe plays a literal gearhead, while country singer Sturgill Simpson plays a guy named Dog. Finally, Allison Janney follows up her Taken-ish Netflix movie Lou by cocking a futuristic pistol and looking like a badass. Here for it all, even as the impending disruption of actual AI has me wondering if the internet as we know it will exist in 10 years. It’s all good as long as The Creator is good!

The Creator opens in theaters on Sept. 29.