Robot dogs and motocross: two great tastes that might go great together in newcomer Oliver Daly’s upcoming film, A.X.L. Arriving courtesy of Global Road Entertainment - whose highly-anticipated Hotel Artemis arrives to theaters in early June - A.X.L. looks to tell the story of the titular secret military weapons project gone AWOL, and the teenage bike rider who befriends the errant machine.
The film’s non-robotic lead Alex Neustaedter plays Miles, a dirt bike enthusiast who stumbles upon the robot dog A.X.L., a technical marvel “endowed with next-generation artificial intelligence but with the heart of a dog.” A.X.L. is equipped with a highly advanced artificial intelligence and weaponry capabilities, and the trailer shows Miles imprinting himself on the dangerous creation with an attached fingerprint scanner. The pair eventually find themselves on the run from A.X.L.’s creators, who will stop at nothing to get back their precious runaway.
Joining Neustaedter in the cast is actress and singer Becky G as Sara, who plays Miles’ crush in the film, as well as Tom Jane in advance of his upcoming role in this year’s The Predator. According to the studio, A.X.L. looks to recall 80s classics like Short Circuit and Flight of the Navigator, combining the “boy and his dog” concept with high-tech special effects and stunt riding; in the trailer, A.X.L. even gamely serves as a mobile bike ramp.
A.X.L. originally began its life as the short film "Miles," a proof-of-concept Oliver Daly created with a small team back in early 2015. In this incarnation, the robot dog was named M.A.X., dubbed “the most advanced military creation in history.” The 7-minute short emphasized an immersion in dirt bike culture, a dedicated romantic subplot, and some impressive effects for the dog, although A.X.L.’s design looks to be a huge improvement; the new character looks less intimidating, with brightly lit blue eyes and a friendlier demeanor.
Lead Neustaedter stars in USA's Colony, and Becky G has quite a few significant credits to her name. Notably, she starred in 2017’s Power Rangers reboot as Yellow Ranger Trini, and she’s also appeared in a few episodes of Fox’s Empire. The trailer implies that she’s more than a simple love interest in A.X.L. as well, something further established with her similarly named character in "Miles," who was prominently featured in the short. For now, the A.X.L. trailer will have to prove whether this family-friendly Transformers-meets-Old-Yeller mashup is worth the theatrical ticket price.
A.X.L. releases in theaters August 24.
Source: Global Road Entertainment