Exclusive: Haley Joel Osment looks back on A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Before becoming a modern indie genre star, Haley Joel Osment (Future Man) was one of the most sought-after child stars in the ’90s after his breakout performance in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense and one of his most notable, and quickly more relevant, projects from the time was the 2001 sci-fi epic A.I. Artificial Intelligence. While talking with the 32-year-old star for his supporting turn in the upcoming dramedy Bad Therapy, ComingSoon.net went back to the future with Osment to explore the nearly 20-year-old film.
Set sometime in the 22nd century, Osment looked back on the film as “one of my favorite projects I’ve been involved with in my entire career” and praising the time that producer Stanley Kubrick (2001: A Space Odyssey) and writer/director Steven Spielberg (Ready Player One) put into developing the world.
“I always thought that Stanley and Steven throughout the entire process of making the movie were really putting all their energy to trying to envision what that aspect of the future would be like,” Osment described. “As time goes on, even though I still think we’re a long way away from actual humanoid versions of artificial intelligence, the philosophical things they brought and the technological things they brought up will end up seeming pretty prescient up to that point.”
Osment notes that while there have been a “lot of great movies” about the concept of artificial intelligence, he’s still the most proud about what his Oscar-nominated project put forward to screen and how it still affects him in the years since as a viewer.
“I’m really proud of the emotional implications that they focused on and that aspect of creating something and what responsibility you have to that thing that you’ve created, even if it’s not human,” Osment said. “That’s a question we explored while making the movie and for me as an audience member now, that’s something that I’m constantly thinking about. That’s one of my favorite projects I’ve been involved with in my entire career.”
Loosely based on the 1969 short story “Supertoys Last All Summer Long,” A.I. is set in a futuristic post-climate change society and focuses on humanistic child android David (Osment) programmed with the ability to love who embarks on a Pinocchio-like journey to find a way to become a real human in order to reunite with the human family that abandoned him. Kubrick began development on the project in the late ’70s with author Brian Aldiss hired to pen the story treatment, but was fired over creative differences with the Oscar-winning director, who hand picked Spielberg to helm the project and write the script.
In addition to Osment, the ensemble cast features Jude Law (Captain Marvel), Frances O’Connor (The Conjuring 2), Sam Robards (The Art of Getting By), William Hurt (Black Widow), Brendan Gleeson (Mr. Mercedes), Robin Williams (Hook) and Meryl Streep (Little Women). It was a box office success, grossing nearly $236 million on a $100 million budget and was well-received by critics, currently maintaining a 74 percent approval rating from critics on review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes and earning three Golden Globe nominations and two Oscar nods.
Bad Therapy is set to hit digital platforms and VOD on Friday!