When Replicas arrives in theaters this week, the Keanu Reeves sci-fi thriller is poised to raise some pretty interesting questions about the ethics of robotics, cloning and organic memory transfer. And while the bulk of the film centers on Reeves’ family and the clones he creates to bring them back after a tragic car accident, there’s also a subplot involving a robot that’s also able to act as a receptacle for human consciousness.
The implications of such creations appear in all manner of science fiction stories, often with mixed results. The cylons of Battlestar Galactica represent an evil portent of what’s to come when humans start playing God and creating robots for service-based reasons, whereas shows like Star Trek present a more optimistic vision when it comes to the possibilities of artificial lifeforms and their engagement with humanity. On Star Trek: The Next Generation, Commander Data is fully-integrated member of the Enterprise crew who has full agency, and Star Trek: Voyager featured a medical hologram whose crusty personality was largely based on his creator Louis Zimmerman’s personality.
There are plenty of differing perspectives on artificial intelligence and its implications for personal use, so we asked the stars of Replicas, Keanu Reeves and Alice Eve, what they would do if they had a personalized robot tailored to their personalities. And, despite making it clear he's not a fan of the possibility, Keanu Reeves even low-key named the robot he’ll never have.
In theaters Friday, January 11, Replicas is a production of Entertainment Studios and Riverstone Pictures and is rated PG-13. It's directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff and written by Chad St. John, and stars Keanu Reeves, Alice Even, Thomas Middleditch, Emily Alyn Lind, Emjay Anthony, Nyasha Hatendi and John Ortiz.