The CW’s vigilante justice show Arrow recently drew to a very dramatic close in its season 1 finale, but it won’t be gone for long. The show was renewed for season 2 a while ago, due to its highly successful ratings, and star Stephen Amell has promised that when the show returns we’ll find the characters very much changed by the events at the end of “Sacrifice”, and has suggested that Oliver Queen may have left Starling City entirely.
Showrunner Greg Berlanti is currently working on more than just the next season of Arrow, however. As well as acting as executive producer on one of The CW’s other upcoming fall shows, The Tomorrow People, he’s just signed a deal with Sony-Columbia to direct a new sci-fi film called Epsilon.
According to THR, the film is set in the wake of a failed robot revolution on an Earth, and the planet has been almost entirely stripped of electronic devices. The surviving robots flee to a space station and begin training human counterparts to act as their agents. The protagonist of the film is described as “a man who discovers he is more human than he thought.”
As a writer, Berlanti probably wouldn’t have been the greatest choice for this project. Arrow improved as the series went along, but the first few episodes had some painfully clunky writing in them, and Berlanti’s only other claims to feature-film fame are writing Green Lantern and Wrath of the Titans – though he’s long been circling The Flash movie. He’s got a fairly decent reputation as a creator of TV shows like Everwood, Eli Stone and Political Animals, but as a sci-fi or fantasy writer he’s yet to really prove himself.
With that in mind, perhaps it’s just as well that Berlanti’s role in Epsilon is purely a directorial one, since the script was written by Zombieland’s Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. Like Berlanti, the duo currently have some pretty strong comic book connections, having written a treatment for the Venom movie that never happened, and being currently engaged in a campaign to get their R-rated Deadpool script onto the big screen.
It’s a little difficult to get a grip on how promising the project looks, based on the synopsis posted by THR. It sounds as though the lead character will be an Avatar-esque human agent who is being groomed by robot masters, perhaps for another attempted coup of Earth, but who retains an unusual level of self-awareness even after his training. Presumably the robots look like proper old-school machines (rather than humanoid cyborgs), or else they would not need human proxies to carry out their bidding.
Examinations of the lines between human and artificial intelligence have been explored in science fiction many times before – both well and poorly – but Reese and Wernick’s involvement in Epsilon make it worth payig some attention to. Since Berlanti is largely untested as a director so far (he was responsible for romantic comedies The Broken Hearts Club and Life As We Know It, and not much else), his attachment to the project is something of a wild card, so it might be best to reserve judgement until more details become available.
It’s still early days for Epsilon, and the film doesn’t have a release date yet. Keep an eye on Screen Rant for further news.