Okay. I just got wind that they are going to make a movie about a murder mystery in a future of ubiquitous robots. They’ve got the audacity to call it I, Robot. Now, I think it’s really cool that they’ve got Will Smith to play one of the lead characters in the movie. Hollywood’s portrayal of the future definitely needs more people of color in it–sometimes it seems like the future only takes place in Finland or something.
But here is my problem with them calling this movie I, Robot. Look who they have playing Susan Calvin. If you ever read any of Asimov’s robot stories that feature Calvin, you know she didn’t look anything like this. Lois Smith, the geneticist in Minority Report, seems infinitely more appropriate to me. Someone like Kate Reid, who played the microbiologist in The Andromeda Strain, is much closer to Asimov’s idea of Calvin. If we need someone younger, fine–how ’bout, Kathy Bates or Camryn Manhiem? Or someone thin, yet very plain looking. Calvin wasn’t a barbie doll. She was a devastatingly intelligent, tough, and yes unattractive, spinster of a gal who had no patience for idiocy. That’s how Asimov wrote her. That’s her appeal to me.
Now, I don’t have any problem with attractive actors or actresses in film, but what they’ve put together here for I, Robot isn’t what Asimov wrote. Why is Hollywood so afraid of putting older, or less attractive, women in stereotype-defying roles? Ah, never mind. I’ll probably go see the flick anyway and simply ignore any attempts to link it with Asimov’s work.