The Sundance Film Festival may have wrapped up on Saturday, but the sales haven’t stopped. Netflix has finalized a deal for North American rights to “I Am Mother,” a sci-fi thriller that stars Hilary Swank.
The film strikes a cautionary note about the dangers of automation. It is set in a dystopic future, one in which humanity has largely been wiped out. In this setting, a teenage girl (Clara Rugaard) is raised to be the first of a new generation of humans. She is created by “Mother” (Rose Byrne), a robot designed to repopulate Earth, and brought up in a bunker. The bond between robot and “daughter” is strained with the arrival of a badly injured stranger (Swank), a woman who is deeply distrustful of “Mother” for reasons that soon become clear. “I Am Mother” marks the feature film directing debut of Grant Sputore. He cooked up the story with Michael Lloyd Green, who wrote the script.
In Grant Sputore’s feature film debut I Am Mother, we are brought into a dystopian world where the human race is extinct and a robot named Mother (voiced by Rose Byrne) commences her protocol in a high-tech bunker deep beneath the Earth’s surface. Clara Ruggard plays a young woman born from a test-tube embryo and raised by Mother, while a Hilary Swank plays a wounded woman who arrives at the bunker door, doubting Mother’s account of the earth’s fate and threatens the unique bond between Mother and her “daughter.” The Oscar-winning actress was immediately drawn to the A.I.-driven story and the role.
“I connected to the survivalist in my character,” says Swank in Deadline’s Sundance studio. She adds that her character begs the question, “What do you do when you’re faced with a post-apocalyptic world?”
Sputore chimes in: “You want to be with Hilary Swank!”
Swank thanks Sputore and continues, “I am fascinated by people who persevere… I was immediately drawn to the entire script and all the characters.”
Rugaard says that there is “crazy genius brains” behind the film, referring to Sputore’s vision and the script by Michael Lloyd Green. In addition to being a story focusing on A.I. she adds, “It’s also a coming of age story…she’s very relatable. She has a very cool journey throughout.”
Swank echoes the praise for the work by Sputore and Green saying that it was a “smart idea” and they articulated the vision well.
“It’s an important time to evaluate what our relationship with technology could look like in the coming years,” Sputore says.