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SYFY WIRE Love, Death & Robots

SXSW: Love, Death & Robots is Tim Miller's 'love letter to nerds'

By Christian Long
Love, Death & Robots Netflix

If there was ever a series to live up to its title, it's  Love, Death & Robots. The animated anthology was co-created by Deadpool director Tim Miller, alongside House of Cards creator David Fincher. The idea was to craft a disconnected anthology series that tapped animators from across the globe and indulged their creative instincts.  

Of the 18 episodes produced so far, six were screened late Saturday night at SXSW, followed by an audience Q&A with Miller and Fincher. Ranging from the ultra-realistic to delightfully cartoonish, it gave the capacity crowd (which included SYFY WIRE) an idea of the kind of variety Love, Death & Robots will hold for viewers. 

For one, it's unconventionally episodic. Each installment is a self-contained story, which leaves how or when they're watched up to the viewer. Additionally, each episode is created by a different animation team, each with a radically different animation style.

Some stories came from Miller and Fincher's brainstorming while others were pitched to them, but the lion's share were adaptations of short stories. For example, three of the six episodes screened at SXSW were based on David Scalzi's work. But beyond them each bearing the title Love, Death & Robots, there's no underlying theme that binds the episodes together. 

During the post-screening chat, Miller alluded to the 1981 animated feature Heavy Metal, but admitted this was different simply because "there is no connective tissue, there is no Locknar."

Because of the outside-the-box nature of Love, Death & Robots, Miller and Fincher knew it was the kind of project that had the ideal home with Netflix. 

"We always thought there was an audience for it, but it was a very difficult thing to pitch," Fincher said, adding "for a streaming service, it's perfect." 

Miller agreed, saying the project's tapas-like presentation of its episodes will allow audiences to pick and choose which ones they like. "You might be disappointed when you watch the eight-minute episode, or happy when you watch the 16-minute episode," Miller explained. 

"What we wanted to do was find stories and find artists and find directors, animators, production companies that we could build a sandbox for," Fincher continued. "Hopefully they'll take root, and hopefully, we'll get to make more weird, different kind of stuff."

With its diversity of story and styles, all cemented solidly in a sci-fi context, Miller summed it up best when he called the animated smorgasbord "his love letter to nerds." 

You can stream Love, Death & Robots on Netflix starting March 15. In the meantime, be sure to check out all of SYFY WIRE's coverage from SXSW here