|Author||Daniel H. Wilson|
|June 7, 2011|
A computer scientist accidentally unleashes a supremely intelligent sentient A.I. named Archos R-14. It becomes self-aware and immediately starts planning the elimination of human civilization and building a new cryptic ecology, where the organic is being merged with robot technology. Over time, Archos R-14 infects all penetrable networked electronic devices, such as cars, airplanes, smart homes, elevators, and other robots, with a "precursor virus".
Before it launches a full-blown attack on humanity, it sends out probing attacks to analyze the technical feasibility of its strategies and to assess human response. In one such instance, it infects a peacekeeper robot to attack soldiers. The random attacks are designed to look like sporadic malfunctions of devices that humans depend on for their everyday routines. Domestic robots attack innocents, planes are intentionally set on a collision course, and smart cars start driving out of control. The resulting conflict is known as the New War.
After Archos R-14 turns the automated world against humanity, a group of the Osage Nation lead people to fight back. Their base is on their jurisdictional lands in Oklahoma. Meanwhile, the resurrected Mikiko could "awake" other robots to be self-aware ("Freeborn").
Human and freeborn robots fight their last New War battle in Ragnarok Intelligence Fields. Before being terminated, Archos R-14 broadcast its last message via seismic wave to unknown recipients.
- Cormac Wallace, the narrator for the novel and the second commander of the Brightboy squad. He is one of the few survivors of the robot apocalypse and the younger brother of the first commander, Jack Wallace.
- Mathilda Perez, a 10-year-old girl and daughter of congresswoman Laura Perez. She is operated on by an autodoc and receives robotic eyes that allow her to see and, to an extent, control robots. But this makes her 'people-blind', barely able to recognize living organisms.
- Takeo Nomura, a Japanese head repairman of an old factory. He is 65 years old and has an intimate relationship with a human-like android named Mikiko. During Archos' invasion, Nomura built an army of robots and created a safe haven for humans all over Japan. After he releases Mikiko from Archos' control, she transmits a signal that frees all other humanoid robots, creating the Freeborns.
- Nine Oh Two, the first recorded freeborn humanoid robot to be awakened. He forms an alliance with the humans in an effort to defeat Archos. At the end of the novel, he ultimately resolves the conflict by destroying Archos.
- Archos, a rogue A.I. and the main antagonist. Despite causing the New War, he is fascinated by life, humanity, and its culture. He determines to replace outdated humanity with advanced technology, believing that humanity existed only as a catalyst to create him.
- Lurker, a 17-year-old prankster. He played a vital role in temporarily freeing the communication lines from Archos' control. This allowed Paul Blanton to transmit a critical message to the human resistance.
A brilliantly conceived thriller that could well become horrific reality. A captivating tale, Robopocalypse will grip your imagination from the first word to the last, on a wild trip you won't soon forget. What a read...unlike anything I’ve read before.
In 2014, Doubleday published the official sequel to Robopocalypse, which is titled Robogenesis.
Steven Spielberg signed on to direct a film based on the novel, and Drew Goddard was hired to write the screenplay. Spielberg also hired designer Guy Hendrix Dyas to work with him and his writers on creating the visual tone for the film and conceptualize its robotic elements. The film was scheduled for release by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures on July 3, 2013. Filming was scheduled to take place entirely in Montreal, Canada, from July to September 2012. Oklahoma was scouted as a possible filming location, but Canada was ultimately chosen for its tax incentives, as production was expected to cost $200 million.
On May 31, 2012, the film's release date was delayed to April 25, 2014. The film, jointly financed by 20th Century Fox and Spielberg's DreamWorks, was scheduled to be released in North America by Disney's Touchstone Pictures label, while Fox was to handle the international distribution.
Chris Hemsworth was cast in November 2012. Anne Hathaway said in November 2012 that she had been cast in the proposed film: "If Robopocalypse happens I will be in it and I believe it's quite real, though you never want to hang your hat on anything." Ben Whishaw had also been cast.
On January 9, 2013, DreamWorks revealed that Spielberg decided to put Robopocalypse on hold indefinitely. The director's spokesman Marvin Levy, said it was "too important and the script is not ready, and it's too expensive to produce. It's back to the drawing board to see what is possible." On January 10, 2013, Spielberg said he was starting on a new script that would be more economical and personal, and estimated a delay of six to eight months.
In an interview with Creative Screenwriting, Goddard said he understood Spielberg delaying the film, saying:
I got to work with Steven Spielberg for a year. That's a dream of mine! It was just a joy to see him in action and learn from him. You're never going to hear me complain about working with Steven Spielberg. Especially as a director now, I get it. You never want to start shooting until the project feels right, so you take your time to get it right.
Spielberg continually delayed the project because of scheduling conflicts. On March 7, 2018, it was revealed that directorial efforts had shifted from Spielberg to Michael Bay, who had previously been hand-picked by Spielberg to direct the Transformers film franchise.
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