Joe Russo, co-director of several of Marvel’s Avengers films, has made the bold prediction that artificial intelligence (AI) could create feature films in as little as “two years.”
Appearing at the Sands International Film Festival in Scotland, the director spoke on a panel with film publication Collider’s Editor-in-Chief, Steve Weintraub, and Epic Games Chief Creative Officer, Donald Mustard. The three touched on a variety of topics including the role of AI in storytelling, and how such technology might change the film industry.
Russo, who directed Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame, was asked by Weintraub what role he thinks AI will play in the film, television, and video game industries.
“… potentially, what you could do with it is obviously use it to engineer storytelling and change storytelling. So you have a constantly evolving story, either in a game or in a movie, or a TV show. You could walk into your house and save the AI on your streaming platform… and it renders a very competent story with dialogue that mimics your voice,”Joe Russo, film director
Russo further revealed that he is on the board of “a few AI companies”. He also addressed the concern of bad actors potentially abusing AI technology.
“I’m gonna speak from my experience of being on the board of those companies is that, there are AI companies that are developing AI to protect you from AI. And unfortunately, we’re in that world, and you will need an AI in your life because whether we want to see it developed or not, people who are not friendly to us may develop it anyways…”Joe Russo, film director
Finally, when asked to predict “how long before” AI can create a high-quality movie that rivals regular movies.
AI in filmmaking: “Awful”
Joe Russo seems pretty excited about the potential that lies ahead in Hollywood for AI. However, not everyone shares the same enthusiasm.
Russo’s comments were mostly met with criticism from fans of the Marvel Avengers franchise, and the film community at large.
“Everything about this sounds awful,” tweeted an independent filmmaker.
Mike Rekola, an independent film and television producer, said that Russo’s vision of AI “sounds like a nightmare.”
Writer Ewan Morrison also reminded followers of AI’s incompetencies when it comes to writing fiction.
“AI can’t write characters or credible dialogue, and it uses templates when it tells a story. It can only generate a few pages of story, and it cannot ‘write in the style of’ anyone. This was all hype,” Morrison added.
Of course, there are always going to be limits to what AI is capable of in this field. Like a modern Martin Scorsese film that clocks in under three hours long. Some tasks are impossible even for machines.