B-Movies Podcast: Alex Garland on Ex Machina, Dredd 2 and 3
Are you ready for a very special bonus episode of The B-Movies Podcast? We sure as hell hope so, because we’ve got writer/director Alex Garland on hand for an in-depth interview about his critically acclaimed new sci-fi thriller Ex Machina, in which future Star Wars: Episode VII co-stars Oscar Isaac and Domhnall Gleeson are trying to prove whether a sophisticated new artificial intelligence named Ava (Alicia Vikander, Seventh Son) has achieved true consciousness.
Alex Garland is no stranger to science-fiction, having written the screenplays for Dredd, Sunshine, and Never Let Me Go, and in Ex Machina he explores a number of serious issues. B-Movies Podcast host William Bibbiani grills him on the ethics behind artificial intelligence and some of the more far out conceits of Ex Machina, like using search engines to develop an artificial human consciousness and whether or not the film warrants the many comparison’s being made to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. And for hardcore film nerds, they also get into a serious debate about auteur theory, which Garland considers a serious matter now that he’s in the director’s chair.
But for Dredd fans, the real scorcher is Alex Garland’s revelations about Dredd 2 and Dredd 3. Although Garland says that the future of the Dredd series is uncertain, he does reveal that “it was the hope” that there would be at least two more movies, and he also reveals the plan was their storylines. And yes, Judge Death was in the cards…
“We were thinking that’s where we’d end up,” Alex Garland reveals on The B-Movies Podcast. “You know, Dredd has different incarnations. He’s been going for a long time, and as the comic books have gone on they’ve got more serious, in a way, and less jokey. There’s a fantastic story that John Wagner wrote called Origins, that takes Dredd out into this desert area that surrounds Mega-City One, and speaks of the origins of the law system of the city and also the origins of Dredd himself. It’s a really beautiful, elegant sort of bit of storytelling.”
“The idea was roughly to do that on a sequel and then end up with Judge Death, because Judge Death is a sort of logical extension of Dredd in some respects. And the other thing about him that’s a bit weird is he’s kind of semi-supernatural, sort of supernatural, and you need to get there in stages. I think it would have been a weird thing to parachute straight into that world.”
“But even saying it now makes me feel a bit self-conscious because it seems so presumptuous to think in those terms before you’ve even released a film and know how it gets [received]. But that’s what we used to sit around and talk about and try and say, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if…?'”
It would have been cool indeed. Listen to the full interview in The B-Movies Podcast Presents: Alex Garland for more insights from the filmmaker, follow the show on Twitter at @BMoviesPodcast and follow your hosts at @WilliamBibbiani and @WitneySeibold. And don’t forget to subscribe to our show for free on iTunes for weekly movie news, reviews, commentary tracks, exclusive interviews and – of course – whatnot.