5 Things You Might Not Know About I, ROBOT - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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5 Things You Might Not Know About I, ROBOT

Human beings have dreams. Even dogs have dreams, but not you, you are just Geek Dave.
1. During its origins, what was to become the film I, Robot had no connection with Isaac Asimov's Robot series. Itn 1995 by Jeff Vintar wrote an original screenplay entitled Hardwired. The script was an Agatha Christie-inspired murder mystery that took place entirely at the scene of a crime, with one lone human character, FBI agent Del Spooner, investigating the killing of a reclusive scientist named Dr. Alfred Lanning, and interrogating a cast of machine suspects that included Sonny the robot, VIKI the supercomputer with a perpetual smiley face, the dead Dr. Lanning's hologram, plus several other examples of artificial intelligence.

At this time it is not believed that Vinter took any direct inspiration from Isaac Asimov's work or 1950 collection of short stories titled I, Robot. Rather, part of Vinter's main plot beared similarities (as too did the finished film) to the plot of Eando Binder's 1939 short story also titled I, Robot, that being a robot on trial for the murder of his creator in a closed room with no witnesses (the Binder story was actually filmed twice for television, both for The Outer Limits in 1964 and its revival in 1995).
2. Walt Disney acquired the rights to Hardwired and announced that Bryan Singer would direct the film, but after the screen rights lapsed and 20th Century Fox picked them up Arnold Schwarzenegger became interested in the role of Del Spooner, with eventual director Alex Proyas helming the film. Hardwired then languished in development hell as Jeff Vintar worked on opening up his stage play-like cerebral mystery to meet the needs of a big budget studio film suitable for its star. It was Fox who decided to use the name I, Robot, so Vintar incorporated Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics and replaced his female lead character Flynn with Susan Calvin, who'd appeared in Asimov's Robot series of science fiction short stories.

Due to delays in production, Schwarzenegger withdrew from the picture (pausing his Hollywood career after becoming the Governor of California in 2003, and Will Smith came on board at the eleventh hour. Requesting changes to the screenplay, Akiva Goldsman was hired late in the process to adapt the character of Del Spooner specifically for Smith.
3. The end credits list the film as "suggested by the book I, Robot by Isaac Asimov", but although the final script retained some of Asimov's characters and ideas they were heavily adapted and the plot of the film is not derived directly from any of Asimov's work.

Moments of similarity include:
  • The premise of a robot, such as VIKI, putting the needs of humankind as a whole over that of individual humans can be found in Asimov's short story The Evitable Conflict where supercomputers managing the global economy generalize the first law to refer to humankind as a whole. Asimov would further develop this idea in his Robot Series as the Zeroth Law of Robotics ("A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.").
  • Sonny's attempt to hide in a sea of identical robots is loosely based on a similar scene in Asimov's 1947 story Little Lost Robot.
  • The positronic brains of Sonny and his fellow robots first appeared in the story Catch That Rabbit (from the February 1944 issue of Astounding Science Fiction).
  • Sonny's struggle and desire to understand humanity resembles that of the robot protagonist in Asimov's 1976 novelette The Bicentennial Man (later adapted as the Robin Williams film), and his dream about a man coming to liberate the NS-5s alludes to Robot Dreams and its main character Elvex.
And, of course, perhaps the most obvious nod to Isaac Asimov himself, at least if you can squint really hard to read the name tag, is Dr. Alfred Lanning's cat, who is named Asimov.
4. It wasn't just references to Asimov's work which Vintar incorporated into his final screenplay for I, Robot, as the premise of robots turning on their creators originated in Karel Čapek's 1920 play R.U.R. This concept appears infrequently in Asimov's writings and differs from his Zeroth Law, an amendment to his three laws of robotics and so named to continue the pattern where lower-numbered laws supersede the higher-numbered laws, which stated that a robot must not harm humanity.

Asimov himself would explicitly state in interviews and in introductions to published collections of his robot stories that he entered the genre to protest what he called the Frankenstein complex — the tendency in popular culture to portray robots as menacing. His story lines often involved roboticists and robot characters battling societal anti-robot prejudices.
5. In a June 2007 interview at a Battlestar Galactica event, writer and producer Ronald Moore stated that his next project would be a sequel to the film I, Robot which he was currently writing. Obviously that film never happened, but in the two-disc All-Access Collector's Edition of the film, director Alex Proyas mentions that if he were to make a sequel to I, Robot (which he says in the same interview, is highly unlikely), it would be set in outer space.

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