The Rise of Technology – Is this the end for Hollywood A-listers?

If you thought it was just “normal people” that were at risk of having their jobs taken by robots and new technology, you were wrong! It turns out that the latest technologies may even wipe out the A-listers. Movie producers have to pay extortionate amounts to hire top Hollywood celebrities for their films, in her recent blockbuster ‘Red Sparrow’ Jennifer Laurence raked in a whopping $20 million (just over £15 million).

Robot Actors in the Film Industry
famous robots

Directors and producers are starting to think it might be cheaper to just build a robot and use them in place of Hollywood Stars. Think about it: a robot would nail every line perfectly, they would look anyway they were designed and there wouldn’t be any Diva antics on set because after they’ve finished shooting, you could just turn them off.

This isn’t too farfetched either because it’s already happening!

In 2013 the Japanese society performed several plays in the states where key members of the cast were robots. In some of the plays it was almost impossible to differentiate the humans from the bots, in others the difference was plain to see.

The human actors reported that the main difficulty was timing. The robots in question were programmed to say their lines at specific times, so the humans had to hurry to fit their words into the pauses. It would have been a disaster if the actors hadn’t managed to fit their lines in.

In all honesty the reviews weren’t great. I,worker and Sayonara achieved a measly 1 and a half stars. But in all fairness, many plays have tanked without robotic input, so we can’t hold it against the humanoids. 

Another theatre production titled ‘Spillikin’ took to the stage in 2017 with a robot. The play was about a robot maker who created a companion for his wife before he died. The robot here was not designed to aesthetically match a human, instead he was designed with sympathetic traits and was reported to even appear “affectionate”.

This robot was programmed on cues, so instead of delivering the same actions and words at specific intervals, he only performed when prompted by words from other actors. The reviews for ‘Spillikin’ were very positive, mostly achieving either four or four and a half stars.

We are in the early days with Robotic actors. Film directors at the moment still prefer to use their flesh and blood counter parts whenever possible and it isn’t just robots that pose a threat to their positions.

For an insight into whether your job is at risk because of the robot revolution, check out: 

You might lose your job... to a robot!

Other Technological Threats to Actors

pirates of the caribbean cgi

With the advancement of CGI, professionals are able to completely recreate actors long after they are gone. Peter Cushing was recently bought back from the dead in ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ and it’s left us wondering where we go next. Will actors begin to just sell their image instead of their time? Will entire films just be recorded using CGI? Who knows.
star wars cgi

Whilst recording ‘Iron Man 3’ Robert Downey Jr. broke his ankle and couldn’t shoot his scenes for six weeks. Instead of waiting for him to recuperate producers used CGI and a body double to film his scenes without him.
iron man cgi

Probably one of the easiest films Robert Downey Jr. has ever been a part of. Well, minus the broken ankle of course.

Honestly, there is no telling what the future holds for the film industry. There doesn’t seem to be anything that can’t be done as long as you have a big enough budget.

Written By Yazmine Howes

Want to read more from RLR Distribution? Check out the 6 ways 3D printing will change the world post.