People Really Aren't Happy About This AI-Written Film

London's Prince Charles Cinema cancels premiere of ChatGPT-penned movie after 200 complaints
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2024 11:30 AM CDT
Premiere Canceled for Film 'Written Entirely by AI'
People walk past the Prince Charles Cinema in London on Sept. 13, 2022.   (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

An eyebrow-raising movie premiere in London's West End has been nixed just days beforehand. The Last Screenwriter, directed by Peter Luisi and starring Nicholas Pople, has its own screenwriter to blame for the sudden shutdown: The script is credited to artificial intelligence, specifically "ChatGPT 4.0," and people aren't happy about it, reports the Guardian. The film's description notes that the meta story focuses on a "celebrated screenwriter" who "finds his world shaken when he encounters a cutting-edge AI scriptwriting system ... [and] soon realizes AI not only matches his skills but even surpasses him in empathy and understanding of human emotions."

A statement from the Prince Charles Cinema, where the movie was set to make its debut on Sunday, noted that when the theater first decided to host the "private hire event" showing the movie, they were told it was an "experiment in filmmaking," made "to engage in the discussion about AI and its negative impact on the arts." Luisi tells the Daily Beast, however, that the theater informed him on Tuesday that the movie premiere was being canceled, after the venue received 200 complaints about it. "I was totally surprised, I didn't expect that," Luisi conceded.

The theater said in its statement that after fielding those complaints, it realized the "strong concern" of moviegoers about using AI instead of humans to pen movie scripts, adding that its decision to scrap the premiere "is rooted in our passion for movies and listening to those who support what we do." Luisi pushes back on that, telling the Daily Beast that "all they hear is 'first film written entirely by AI' and they immediately see the enemy." And at least two film critics aren't on board with the cancellation, suggesting the commotion is overblown.

story continues below

"Stow those pitchforks. The end of cinema has not arrived quite yet," writes Kevin Maher for the London Times, calling The Last Screenwriter "by turns bizarre, unintentionally hilarious, and certainly worthy of exhibition." He adds: "Most importantly, it should allay all fears that, any day now, the best original screenplay Oscar is going to be presented to an overdressed laptop on a trolley." The film will be released to the general public for free online on July 11. More on Luisi's thoughts on AI here. (More artificial intelligence stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.