If you haven’t heard of the upcoming movie from Tim Burton, called 9, you gotta check it out (see trailers, pics at the end of this post). I am still trying to fully grok the storyline, but it seems to take place in a future where technology and machines have gone haywire and pretty much wiped out human civilization. The movie is fully animated and promises to be a feast for the imagination, full of interesting mechanical creations and futuristic thinking. Not only does the movie itself look pretty neat, but the marketing presence that is building up to the launch of the movie is quite impressive and detailed, culminating in a theater release on none other than 9-9-09.
A character from the film, simply known as “The Scientist”, has taken on a fictitious existence on the internet to promote and explain the events that lead up to the beginning of the movie. The Scientist has his own facebook page with a current and rapidly growing following of more than 3,600 followers. In addition The Scientist has a pretty neat interactive flash simulation of his laboratory, full of his machine drawings, blueprints, and other notable belongings. Oh, and of course the movie promotion wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t also boast a twitter account full of updates.
From what I can tell so far, the story goes like this: After a ten year world war, the world is left scarred and battered. The chancellor, who leads an unnamed country, declares that science and technology will be the path to a rebuilding and rebirth of the world after this long and terrible world war. The Scientist is enlisted to create an artificial B.R.A.I.N, an autonomous machine capable of creating new machines in its own image. At some point the government interferes with the Scientists work just as it is gaining steam, and the B.R.A.I.N apparently causes some sort of destruction of most/all of humanity. Just before all hell breaks loose, the Scientist is able to create 9 artificial rag doll creatures, called the 9, to fight the machine insurrection. It is up to the 9 to save the world from the insurrection and protect humanity if any still exists. Check out more pics here:
This storyline is a longtime favorite of technophobes and technology conservatives, as they invariably try to warn us about the dangers of technological advancement. Sadly, such a scenario is a real possibility and we all should be thinking about ways to ensure that human destruction does not happen. This sort of thinking and debate is exactly what institutions such as SIAI and Singularity University are trying to foster.
The movie is backed by the famous voices, as described by wikipedia: This group of rag dolls includes 1 (Christopher Plummer) their gruff self-proclaimed leader, 2 (Martin Landau) a kindly old inventor, the silent hooded twins 3 and 4, 5 (John C. Reilly) 2’s loyal apprentice, 6 (Crispin Glover) a wild, visionary artist, 7 (Jennifer Connelly) a brave female warrior, 8 (Fred Tatasciore), 1’s tough but dim-witted bodyguard, and finally 9 (Elijah Wood) a brave and loyal friend who displays leadership qualities that can help them survive against the machines that mercilessly hunt them down.
There are two high quality trailers for the movie out in the wild. Enjoy them below: