Book Vs. Movie: AI: Artificial Intelligence
Brian Aldiss’s Supertoys Last All Summer Long Vs. the 2001 Steven Spielberg Film
Twenty years ago, Steven Spielberg released a longtime project with his friend Stanley Kubrick--AI: Artificial Intelligence. Kubrick bought the rights to the 1969 short story from author Brian Aldiss (which appeared as Supertoys Last All Summer Long in the August 1969 issue of the UK edition of Harper’s Bazaar. The story is about a robot child being jettisoned by his parents when permitted to have a baby and a dystopian future where overpopulation has caused the management of families.
Kubrick liked the idea of a story about a neglectful parent but thought there weren’t any child actors who could accurately play the part. After he died in 1999, Spielberg took over the project and divided to flesh out the story with Mechas (humanoid robots) and hired actor Haley Joel Osment to lead David. A young Mecha is programmed to love his mother. When she decides to abandon him after he has behavioral issues, the story turns into a tale of David, his “Teddy” bear friend, and Jude Law (a hustler Mecha) to now underwater NYC to find the “Blue Fairy” to make him a real boy.
The film divided the critics and the audience, with some praising the vision and others finding the “Kubrick Vs. Spielberg” styles making a messy picture. Now that 20 years have gone by, there are now think pieces about its brilliance.
So, between the short story and the movie--which did we prefer?
In this ep the Margos discuss:
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