Why ‘Extinction’ Feels Familiar and Different All at the Same Time

Why ‘Extinction’ Feels Familiar and Different All at the Same Time
08 Aug

Extinction isn’t exactly an original story. The new Netflix film borrows heavily from other sci-fi epics to tell an intriguing new tale with a classic message about humanity’s place in the universe. But in an interview ahead of the film’s release, director Ben Young tells Inverse that his inspiration went far beyond the typical sci-fi classics. Here’s a spoiler-filled look at some of the stories and aesthetics that inspired Extinction.

Warning: It should be pretty clear by now that this article contains Extinction spoilers. Proceed at your own risk.

If you’ve already watched Extinction, you know the movie is all about artificial intelligence. As we learn in the big reveal about two-thirds of the way through the story, all the main characters are actually man-made robots fighting off a human invasion (rather than humans fighting off aliens, as we’ve been led to believe). In a series of flashbacks, we witness a failed attempt to destroy the robots, forcing any human survivors to flee the planet entirely.

To create this robot-inhabited world, which needed to feel both familiar and coldly different at once, Young says he looked to a few sci-fi classics like Gattaca, Her, and Minority Report. He also took a lot of inspiration from one sci-fi movie in particular because of the way it balances entertaining the audience with delivering a deeper message.

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