Right up there as one of our most eagerly anticipated projects still to see the light of day this year, the endlessly creative Spike Jonze’s latest offering Her (2013) had us hooked at its simple, yet irresistible premise. A man (played by the ever-watchable Joaquin Phoenix, no less) falls in love with his operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). With a first poster and trailer for Jonze’s new effort now live on the web, we’ve been given a tantalising first glimpse of what the Being John Malkovich and Where the Wild Things Are director has in store for US audiences this November (a UK release date is still to be confirmed). And whilst the tone may appear light and comedic, When Harry Met Siri this almost certainly won’t be.
The official synopsis for Her, released online last year, states the following:
In the not so distant future, Theodore (Phoenix), a lonely writer purchases a newly developed operating system designed to meet the user’s every needs. To Theodore’s surprise, a romantic relationship develops between him and his operating system, who refers to itself as ‘Samantha’ (Johansson). This unconventional love story blends science fiction and romance in a sweet tale that explores the nature of love and the ways that technology isolates and connects us all.
With contemporary society becoming evermore obsessed with technology and artificial intelligence, it was only a matter of time before a filmmaker bridged the gap between where we are now, and the human/android romance of Ridley Scott’s forward-thinking, futuristic sci-fi classic Blade Runner (1982). Indeed, certain individuals’ wanton infatuation with the latest and greatest iProducts from tech giants Apple could certainly lead one to believe that Jonze’s upcoming “love story” may not be quite as far-fetched as first thought.
The new trailer for Her (below) gives off definite echoes of recent indie/mainstream crossovers such as Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) and perhaps even Jake Schreier’s Robot & Frank (2012), although both films are arguably indebted to some of Jonze’s preceding directorial outings. What is for certain is that Phoenix will be reunited once again his The Master co-star Amy Adams, cropping up as Theodore’s very human love interest, following his failed relationship with Rooney Mara’s Catherine. Throw in an original Arcade Fire score, and we could well be looking at one of 2013’s most intellectually stimulating US indies.
Spike Jonze’s Her will be released in US cinemas on 20 November, 2013. A UK release date is yet to be confirmed, but looks certain to follow.