New footage from high-concept sci-fi flick Ex Machina asks what it means to be alive

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Dec 21, 2014, 8:17 AM EST (Updated)

We already knew Alex Garland’s (28 Days Later) new sci-fi flick was going to be a doozy, but some new footage from the ambitious AI-inspired film has us champing at the bit to see more.

Dubbed Ex Machina, the film stars Domhnall Gleeson as a computer programmer who gets roped into an experiment being conducted by the CEO of a large search-engine company, played by Oscar Isaac. The experiment? Basically a fully fledged Turing test with the artificial intelligence of an android, played by the deliciously unsettling Alicia Vikander.

It’s a high-concept premise, obviously, but a new behind-the-scenes featurette gives us hope that Garland really is digging into all the intense ethical questions a film like this can allow you to ask. If he pulls it off, this could be one of the smartest sci-fi films of the year. If nothing else, it’s at least a heck of a lot more ambitious than a lot of the sequel-itis we’ve been getting.

Check out the film’s synopsis below:

Alex Garland, writer of 28 Days Later and Sunshine, makes his directorial debut with the stylish and cerebral thriller, EX MACHINA. Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson), a programmer at an internet-search giant, wins a competition to spend a week at the private mountain estate of the company’s brilliant and reclusive CEO, Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac). Upon his arrival, Caleb learns that Nathan has chosen him to be the human component in a Turing Test—charging him with evaluating the capabilities, and ultimately the consciousness, of Nathan’s latest experiment in artificial intelligence. That experiment is Ava (Alicia Vikander), a breathtaking A.I. whose emotional intelligence proves more sophisticated, seductive––and more deceptive––than the two men could have imagined.

Watch the footage below, interspersed with interviews with the cast and crew, and let us know what you think:

(Via IGN)

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