Steven Spielberg Offers ‘Robopocalypse’ Story Details

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 31st, 2013 at 10:40 am,

Steven Spielberg still has his war drama War Horse in theaters, and next holiday season he’ll put out another piece of potential historical drama Oscar-bait with Lincoln – but after that, the acclaimed director is returning to that other genre he seems to do so well in, with the sci-fi flick Robopocalypse, which was written by Cloverfield scribe Drew Goddard, and is based on a book by Daniel H. Wilson.

In recent months Spielberg has been somewhat vocal about his intentions for Robopocalypse, but today we get some concise words about when it will take place, and what kind of narrative and/or thematic focus the film will have.

Daniel H. Wilson (a Ph.D. student in robotics as well as an author)  is known for his science-fact-meets-science-fiction books How to Survive a Robot Uprising and, of course, Robopocalypse. His work tends to focus on the real…er, mechanics of artificial intelligence and the very real dangers that come with it. Spielberg tells Time Out London that his film adaptation will follow a similar narrative/thematic thread:

‘It’s a movie about a global war between man and machine. I had a great time creating the future on “Minority Report”, and it’s a future that is coming true faster than any of us thought it would. “Robopocalypse” takes place in 15 or 20 years, so it’ll be another future we can relate to. It’s about the consequences of creating technologies which make our lives easier, and what happens when that technology becomes smarter than we are. It’s not the newest theme, it’s been done throughout science fiction, but it’s a theme that becomes more relevant every year.’

It’s good to hear that Spielberg recognizes the fact that the idea of A.I. run-amok is a subject that has indeed been done-to-death in sci-fi films (and literature). Movies like Eagle Eye, The Matrix, I, Robot and to much lesser extent Transformers are still fresh in this generation of moviegoers’ minds, with the older generation(s) having even more examples like 2001 or Terminator crowding the list. That Spielberg put out a film titled ‘A.I.’ only reinforces the cliched nature of the sub-genre.

But of course, as the director himself points out, the rapid evolution of technology makes the themes and allegories of such stories even more relevant than ever today. After all, it’s easier to imagine iPhone’s Siri going rogue and developing Skynet-style self-awareness than it is the archaic computers that were on the market when Stanley Kubrick thought up 2001‘s HAL 9000 back in late 1960s.

That is to say: It’s a pretty sure bet that Spielberg will have some pretty clever (and visually enticing) ways of ushering us into the Robopocalypse by the time the film hits theaters on July 3, 2013.

Source: Time Out London via The Playlist

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Oh great, speilberg is making a Terminator rip off…..

  2. I still say technology that been abused
    or tried to work for us ,a good film to
    see is Robocop or even Circuitry Man…..
    good luck Steven ,as far as I’m concern you
    only had one bad film,1941,…………….

    • Indy 4

      • I think he tried to do the best with what Lucas gave him. Spielberg was not happy with some ideas of Lucas, but there are friends and so he done it anyway because Lucas insisted.

        I think “1941” was quite funny when I watched it 20 years ago, but I don`t know how I would think of it when I whatch it now.

    • I liked 1941 and Wild Bill Kelso.

      I despised Indy 4 and also thought The Goonies was a steaming pile.

  3. See Battlestar Galactica. Machines VS Humans albiet in another galaxy

  4. This also sounds a lot like irobot…. which I enjoy

  5. sounds good, but it also sound so familiar and as if the idea has worn out

  6. Speilberg? – Sci-Fi?

    Falling Skies. That is all.

  7. Its been overdone but I’ll watch it. Just as long as it isn’t like A.I.

  8. This is the guy that made ‘Minority Report’. Good enough for me.

  9. I’m a bit confused as to why this is a news worthy story? It’s basically Spielberg talking about the plot of a book. That isn’t him disclosing some huge secret. It’s already public knowledge.

    Or it would be if it wasnt a book that was ultra hyped and then just fell of the radar with zero promotion.

  10. /yawn……very old and well trod theme. Man creates machines to make their lives easier, machines gain sentience and rebel. Hardly original but I guess it’s better than a remake or a reboot?

  11. the last robot films from the sources of this russian sc-fi author(don´t remember his name now),were all boring. let´s list them. 1.a.i. 2.i robot! there were some more but i don´t remind the titles.

  12. I’m sorry but this concept just sounds trite and the fact that Steven recognizes that is not a good thing in my eyes. I hope the screenwriter added some new sort of twist or angle other than “Machines become smarter than us > Gain consciousness > Become dangerous > we have to take them out”

  13. well if this is as close as I’ll get to see a war against the machines I’m on board I jus hope it has tht look of munich, saving private ryan. I knw I wont see humans in war with skynet untill I’m like 30 so sad.

  14. I want lots of robots in the Robopocalypse movie and action figure toys.

  15. I can’t wait for this movie. Just finished the book and loved it. When I first read the synopsis for Robopocalypse I had many of the same reactions as several of the posters here. However after reading the first chapter, I was hooked. It isn’t written like anything I’ve read before. It was nice.

  16. Opinions differ, but I thought the book horrible. But Spielberg proved he can take a pile of drek and make a great movie, as he did with Peter Benchley’s terrible “Jaws” novel.

  17. Well 2013 came and went and as of 2014 it looks like Robopocalypse is stuck in dev hell. To be honest I wasn’t feeling this flick. Terminator has so powerfully held that genre that unless you really put a new spin on it, like what the Matrix did, then the movie will just be in its shadow. It is a genre, like the Zombiealypse genre, saturated with only very original material standing out. My impression seems like it would fit better coming to an Xbox near you then the big screen.

  18. —-Spielberg continues ‘on board’ and CLUELESS
    as the the REAL nature of technology, EUGENICS and TOTALITARIAN Globalism —-uncloak.

  19. Good info. Lucky me I recently found your website by chance (stumbleupon).
    I’ve saved it for later!