‘Robot and Frank’ Explores New Dimension of Human-Bot Relations

Somewhere between WALL-E and HAL from 2001 is the butler ‘bot at the center of Sundance selection Robot and Frank, the upcoming film starring Frank Langella (whose performance was lauded at Sundance) as a recovering and retired jewel thief whose children bring him said ASIMO-style ‘bot for company and to improve his emotional health (Liv Tyler and James Marsden play said kids; Peter Sarsgaard and Susan Sarandon also appear). Bot teaches Frank how to garden, eat healthy and presumably love; Frank confides in ‘Bot, eventual shenanigans ensue. 

Robot and Frank is the full-length directorial debut of Jake Schreier, the former keyboardist of indie rock ensemble Francis & The Lights. What will his new film bring to the long, cinematic history of human-robot relations? Will it be the Bender and Fry or Luke and R-2 buddy comedy kind of relationship, the antagonism of a HAL or the hot mess of South Park‘s Butters and Awesom-o? We shall see. Roll clip. 

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