- “I Am Mother” began streaming on Netflix on June 7.
- Netflix acquired the rights to the sci-fi thriller after its premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
- The film stars Clara Rugaard, Hilary Swank, and Rose Byrne as the voice of Mother.
- The robot is a full-body suit designed and built by Weta Workshop.
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One of the latest additions to Netflix’s growing library of original thriller content, “I Am Mother” is a film about a teenage girl raised from birth by a robot named Mother. The girl believes that she and her maternal companion are alone in the world – until another woman appears.
Without spoiling what happens next, here’s everything you need to know before sitting down to watch it.
The trailer warns of inevitable conflict
Daughter (Clara Rugaard) begins to question everything she has been taught by Mother (Rose Byrne) when a woman (Hilary Swank) appears at their home, frantic and bloody. The trailer shows that there may be other robots like Mother in the world outside of the facility and teases a philosophical and physical conflict between the stranger and the familiar.
“I Am Mother” is based on an original concept
First-time director Grant Sputore and writer Michael Lloyd Green developed the screenplay for the film after failing to get a Western off the ground. According to Variety, it was added to Hollywood’s 2016 Black List – the most-liked screenplays not yet produced – and shooting began on the feature in 2017 at Adelaide Studios in South Australia.
It was inspired by some iconic sci-fi films.
In developing the story, Sputore and Green looked to other films that pulled off robots and artificial intelligence well, going beyond talking computers and exploring more of the social commentary that comes with the new technology.
The Mother character is a one-of-a-kind wearable robot suit.
Actress Rose Byrne provides the voice for the titular character, which was designed by a team at Weta Workshop.
The New Zealand-based company, made famous by their work on “The Lord of the Rings” films and several other projects over the past 30 years, worked with Sputore to create an original character that could look good on screen and also be able to perform all the tasks written into the script.
There are over 250 components to the unique 90-lb costume, which is worn by Weta Workshop project supervisor Luke Hawker. While Hawker performs all of the humanoid movements for Mother, her mechanic features including a single eye and LED lights are operated via radio control by Tim Domett.
There are divisive twists, but the film is getting positive reviews.
Some early reviews of the film refer to it as “tense” and a “slow-burn,” but there are twists in the plot that have not appealed to all viewers. The film currently has a 91% among critics on Rotten Tomatoes and a 75% audience score.