Earlier today, Deadline ran a post with the whiplash-inducing headline, "Filmmaker Tony Kaye Casts Robot As Lead Actor In Next Feature". Before you've read even one word of the subsequent post, at least one of your eyebrows should be raised: Tony Kaye, did you say? Notoriously temperamental director Tony Kaye? Casting a robot as the lead in a feature film?
It sounds crazy:
"Unlike Robin Williams’ 1999 film Bicentennial Man or the Steven Spielberg-directed A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Kaye is aiming to cast a real robot, who will be trained in different acting methods and techniques. The idea, which originated from Kaye and producer Sam Khoze, is to forgo the use of computer-generated effects in favor of a physical A.I. robot as an actor, who they are hoping will get SAG recognition."
But, wait: it gets even crazier:
"2nd Born is the sequel to 1st Born, an indie comedy directed by Ali Atshani and starring Val Kilmer, Tom Berenger, Greg Grunberg, Jay Abdo, Taylor Cole, Reza Sixo Safai, William Baldwin, Denise Richards and Robert Knepper."
OK, so let's regroup: according to this report, American History X director Tony Kaye, who hasn't directed a feature film since 2011's Detachment and whose IMDb page has no mention of 2nd Born, is directing a movie called 2nd Born ... which will star a robot trained to act ... and which will be a sequel to an indie comedy called 1st Born, which starred - among other people - Val Kilmer, Tom Berenger and Denise Richards. If you're having trouble swallowing all this, hold on - we ain't finished yet.
A quick look at IMDb reveals that 1st Born is, in fact, an indie comedy starring the above-mentioned performers. It's about ... well, here, I'll just let IMDb tell you:
"Tucker and Hamid are going to be grandfathers for the first time, but only if they can come together long enough to save their first-born grandchild."
Here is the poster for 1st Born:
Final kicker? 1st Born's not even out yet. It doesn't even appear to have a release date. So once again, let's walk through what we've learned: Tony Kaye, the notably volatile director of American History X , is helming a movie called 2nd Born, to be headlined by a trained robot and which will serve as the sequel to an indie comedy about grandpas called 1st Born (which - as far as we can tell - has nothing to do with robots). Oh, and 1st Born isn't even out yet.
Folks, the amount of shenanigans going on here seems to be off the charts. How can any of this be true? When we initially saw Deadline's report, we assumed someone was pulling an elaborate prank, tricking the trade into humiliating itself by reporting on something so mindblowingly ridiculous it couldn't possibly be true. But it's hours later and Deadline's story still hasn't been pulled, which leads us to wonder if there isn't some shred of validity to the whole thing.
But ... surely not, right?
Truth is, we don't know what to make of this and will be keeping a close eye on the situation. Stay tuned to learn more about 2nd Born as it becomes available.