Hugh Jackman is the new Bill Nye the Science Guy. Actually, let me rephrase, he should be the next Bill Nye. We'd listen to him talk about the world of science any day, perhaps after he eventually retires his adamantium claws, if that ever happens. The Wolverine actor can be seen in this weekend’s sci-fi release, Chappie. In the film from Neil Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium), he plays the villain, a jock-type engineer who’s both trying to build the next line of robotic weaponry and terrified of the implications of artificial intelligence. In preparation for the role, the beloved actor of stage and screen researched all he could about the insane technology that real-life scientists are developing. And as he says, "It kinda blew my mind."
Speaking with Cinema Blend during the press junket for Chappie, Jackman described some of the crazy contraptions he discovered, including:
The thing that is gonna go into our brains, wired into our brains that transfer our thoughts into texts or whatever. … They are really close to that coming out. The pill that you can now take — that is around, by the way — the pill that can somehow electrify your system, so that when you get close to your phone it will unlock your phone, or lock your house, or start your car, that only you with your body can do. It’s got nothing to do with your finger prints just somehow emanating from your DNA.
The film, Chappie, itself is all about crazy technology, the most crazy of all being the infant A.I. portrayed by Sharlto Copley through performance capture. Then there’s a giant weaponized tank called "The Moose" that's controlled via a Cerebro-esque helmet. Though, the clunker looks more like the Black Ranger’s frog megazord from the old ninja Power Rangers movie. Jackman never encountered any real-world tech like these bits, but his own research suggests we’re close to reaching a future world that resembles science-fiction. Here's Hugh Jackman, on that very topic:
Given these significant advancements, he sympathizes with his character. Most of his characteristics peg him as being out of date, including his dated chino shorts and half-mullet. But his character's concerns surrounding A.I. are valid, in Jackman's mind.
Chappie focuses on a not-too-distant future in Johannesburg, South Africa, in which the golden boy of a weapons manufacturer is experimenting with artifical intelligence. After a number of failed experiments, he successfully bestows original thought onto one of his police robots, which is named Chappie. Though Chappie is essentially an infant when he's programmed, his accelerated learning speed allows him to consume information at an alarming rate, eventually even surpassing human understanding.
It's crazy to think that some scientific ideas that were once thought of as science-fiction years ago are now becoming reality. And Jackman is already preparing for the day robots take over the Earth.