Robert Venditti, who wrote the sci-fi graphic novel Surrogates, told SCI FI Wire that the upcoming film adaptation starring Bruce Willis will retain the book's key themes.
"The core concept of technology isolating us from each other and the outside world is something that a lot of people can relate to," Venditti said in an exclusive interview last week. "I'm happy to say the key elements of the book—the impact of surrogate technology on the world and the effect it's had on the relationship between Detective Greer and his wife—have all been expertly retained for the film."
Jonathan Mostow (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines) is directing the movie, based on the novel by Venditti and artist Brett Weldele. Surrogates is set in a future in which most of humanity lives in isolation and interacts through humanoid robots—allowing their controllers to exist vicariously through a stronger, beautiful or younger synthetic being. When these androids become the target of a methodical terrorist, hard-nosed detective Harvey Greer (Willis) is called upon to uncover who is accountable for the attacks and why they want the surrogates gone.
Terminator 3 writers John Brancato and Michael Ferris wrote the screenplay.
The original comic, which was released two years ago, plays heavily upon society's addiction to its online personas but takes things a step further by having many of the story's central characters live their entire lives through these physical avatars.
"I was a consultant on the screenplay," Venditti adds. "But I mostly stayed out of it and let them do what they felt was best. They're all seasoned professionals, and everyone has an honest appreciation for the graphic novel, so I was completely confident they would do the story justice."
Weldele has his own thoughts on the casting. "When I sit down to draw a book, I rarely envision specific actors as the characters in my books," he said in a separate interview. "Instead, I work to create characters that are visually interesting, dynamic and true to the writer's vision of the script. I'm very excited to see how my drawings are transformed into flesh-and-blood human beings when the movie hits theaters this fall."
The movie also stars Radha Mitchell, Rosamund Pike and Ving Rhames (as The Prophet, the leader of an anti-surrogate movement). Surrogates is slated for release on Sept. 25. --Ted Geoghegan