“The Creator” is an eagerly awaited science-fiction action thriller from the United States, brought to life by the talented Gareth Edwards. Edwards, alongside Chris Weitz, jointly penned the screenplay for this gripping film. The cast includes esteemed actors like John David Washington, Gemma Chan, Ken Watanabe, Sturgill Simpson, and Allison Janney. Set in a future where humanity is locked in a brutal conflict with artificial intelligence, the story revolves around a former special forces operative recruited to track down and eliminate the enigmatic figure known as the “Creator.” This shadowy figure possesses a devastating weapon capable of terminating not just the war but all of humanity.
In November 2019, the journey of development commenced when Gareth Edwards was enlisted to direct and craft an untitled science fiction venture for New Regency. This exciting project was officially unveiled in February 2020. Edwards drew inspiration from cinematic classics like “Apocalypse Now” (1979), “Baraka” (1992), “Blade Runner” (1982), “Akira” (1988), “Rain Man” (1988), “The Hit” (1984), “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (1982), and “Paper Moon” (1973) for this film.
Originally bearing the title “True Love,” it underwent a transformation and emerged as “The Creator.” Principal photography commenced on January 17, 2022, and concluded on May 30, 2022.
“The Creator” is set to make its debut at Fantastic Fest on September 26, 2023, and is scheduled for a nationwide release in the United States on September 29, 2023, courtesy of 20th Century Studios.
The creator premise
We follow Joshua’s journey as he deals with the loss of his wife in a world split apart by an oncoming confrontation between humans and the domain of artificial intelligence. Joshua is a battle-tested former special forces agent. He is given a new assignment that requires him to find and kill the Creator, the mysterious inventor of cutting-edge AI technology. This genius has created a secret weapon that could put an end to both the conflict and humanity as a whole. Joshua assembles a group of skilled agents, and they set out on a risky expedition deep into enemy territory, crossing into areas that are under the authority of AI. The catastrophic weapon they are supposed to disable, however, causes them to discover shocking information that completely upends their understanding.
- John David Washington as Joshua
- Madeleine Yuna Voyles as Alfie
- Gemma Chan as Maya
- Ken Watanabe as Harun
- Sturgill Simpson as Shipley
- Allison Janney as Howell
- Ralph Ineson as Andrews
- Marc Menchaca
- Veronica Ngo as Kami
The creator :Production
Development on the film commenced in November 2019 when Gareth Edwards signed on to helm and pen an untitled science fiction project for New Regency. Co-producing alongside Edwards’ colleague from “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” (2016), Kiri Hart assumed the role of producer. During that year, a test shoot and location scouting were conducted, serving as a canvas for Edwards to conceptualize the film’s visual aesthetics. Edwards described this phase as follows: “I took a camera and a 1970s anamorphic lens, and we embarked on location-scouting journeys in Vietnam, Cambodia, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, and Nepal. Our grand strategy revolved around leveraging the world’s most magnificent locations, as the cost of airfare pales in comparison to constructing elaborate sets. Our plan was to traverse the globe, capturing the film’s essence, and subsequently layering in the science-fiction elements. Our primary visual goal was to achieve an authentic sense of the science-fiction realm.”
In February 2020, Edwards was officially unveiled as the director. He drew inspiration from a diverse array of films, including classics like “Apocalypse Now” (1979), “Baraka” (1992), “Blade Runner” (1982), “Akira” (1988), “Rain Man” (1988), “The Hit” (1984), “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (1982), and “Paper Moon” (1973).”
The creator Casting
In May of 2021, it was announced that John David Washington would take the lead role, and the film’s working title, “True Love,” was unveiled. Moving into June 2021, negotiations began with Gemma Chan, Danny McBride, and Benedict Wong to join the cast. The participation of Chan and Wong was officially confirmed in January 2022, with Allison Janney, Sturgill Simpson, and Marc Menchaca also joining the ensemble. It was reported that Simpson would step in for McBride, who had to bow out due to scheduling conflicts. Then, in February 2022, Ken Watanabe was added to the cast, replacing Wong, who also had to depart due to scheduling conflicts. Notably, Watanabe had previously collaborated with Edwards on the film “Godzilla” in 2014.
Principal photography commenced in Thailand on January 17, 2022, for this project, with a production budget estimated at $86.1 million (pre-tax incentives). The cinematography team consisted of Greig Fraser, who also took on a co-producer role, and Oren Soffer. Stringent COVID-19 safety measures were diligently observed throughout the production. In an effort to evoke the grandeur of classic Hollywood epics like “Ben-Hur” (1959), the filmmakers made the creative choice to capture the film in the ultra-wide 2.76:1 aspect ratio.
During the filming of this project in Thailand, various captivating locations were utilized, including Suvarnabhumi Airport, Ban Mung, Sangkhla Buri, Chiang Dao, and Sam Phan Bok. Notably, Thai fans, eager for the film’s release, enthusiastically pointed out a scene filmed at Bangkok’s ARL Makkasan station, adding to the local excitement.
Regarding the key figures behind the camera, Greig Fraser initially contributed to the pre-production phase before transitioning to remote work due to his commitment to “Dune: Part Two” (2023). In his place, Oren Soffer, in his first major studio film role, assumed the role of the primary director of photography throughout the production shoot. Gareth Edwards, who also operated one of the cameras, praised Soffer’s contribution to the film’s production in an interview with Total Film, hailing him as a “real future rising star in the DoP world” with exceptional vision and intelligence.
Notably, the film was shot using the prosumer Sony FX3 camera, a cost-effective choice rarely seen in blockbuster filmmaking. Edwards confirmed this unconventional decision during Collider’s “Directors on Directing” panel at the 2023 San Diego Comic-Con. Fellow director Louis Leterrier even suggested that this bold move could potentially “revolutionize cinema.”
In light of budget constraints, the filmmakers employed guerrilla filmmaking techniques. They worked with minimal crew members, relied on natural lighting for select on-location scenes, and limited sound recording. Instead of constructing elaborate sets or heavily relying on digital methods like greenscreens or StageCraft, the production opted for cost-effective location filming at 80 global sites that closely matched the desired sci-fi aesthetic. Visual effects were subsequently integrated into the footage during the editing phase.
This innovative approach allowed the production to achieve its goals with an estimated expenditure of only $80 million, a remarkable feat for a project that typically could have cost $300 million. Filming concluded on May 30, 2022, and the visual effects were skillfully provided by a consortium of studios, including Industrial Light & Magic, Wētā FX, Folks VFX, MARZ, Misc Studios, Fin Design + Effects, Supreme Studio, Outpost VFX, Crafty Apes, Jellyfish Pictures, VFX Los Angeles, Frontier VFX, Outpost VFX, and Clear Angle Studios.
“The highly anticipated film, ‘The Creator,’ is set to make its Texas debut at Fantastic Fest on September 26, 2023. Simultaneously, it will dazzle audiences as the opening night feature at Beyond Fest, screening at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, California.
An exclusive preview and industry screening of the movie occurred at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles on September 18, 2023, where the lobby showcased props and costumes from the film. Gareth Edwards, the film’s director, delivered an encouraging speech in support of the cast before the screening.
The general release date for ‘The Creator’ is slated for September 29, 2023, spanning both traditional theaters and premier formats like IMAX, Dolby Cinema, 4DX, and ScreenX. It will go head-to-head with Paramount Pictures’ ‘PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie’ and Lionsgate Films’ ‘Saw X.’ Notably, the release date was originally set for October 6, 2023, but a significant announcement at CinemaCon on April 26, 2023, propelled the film’s release forward by a week.”
Gareth Edwards officially announced via the film’s Twitter account on July 17, 2023, that Hans Zimmer had been selected to compose the film’s score.