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Joe Russo, director of Marvel Studios blockbuster “Avengers: Endgame,” has predicted that it'll only be two years until we see an AI-generated movie that's convincing enough to give viewers pause.
Speaking on a panel at the Sands International Film Festival in St. Andrews, Scotland, Russo was joined by Epic Games CCO Donald Mustard, who predicted that an AI-generated movie could arrive even sooner than Russo’s two-year timeframe.
Russo, who holds positions on the boards of “a few AI companies,” told Collider’s Steve Weintraub that AI could be used “to engineer storytelling and change storytelling,” adding that it could be used to create “a constantly evolving story, either in a game or in a movie, or a TV show.”
The director gave the example of a viewer dialing up an AI-generated rom-com starring their own photorealistic avatar alongside Marilyn Monroe. “It renders a very competent story with dialogue that mimics your voice,” he said. “And suddenly, now you have a rom-com starring you that's 90 minutes long."
Mustard added that “we’re just not very far off” being able to render photorealistic scenes in real time. “We jest about being in “Endgame,” but there'll be that, too," he said. "You could go back and watch some of your favorite movies or new things, and be like, “No, I want to see myself in the big battle in the background,” he said.
“Make me Doctor Strange,” Russo joked, before speculating that he could “take Humphrey Bogart and put him in a movie with George Clooney.”
The real value of AI, said Russo, is “the democratization of storytelling,” noting that, “anyone in this room could tell a story, or make a game at scale, with the help of a photoreal engine or an engine and AI tools.”
In the gaming world, the two creators predicted that AI will be used to populate the world of a videogame or to “curate your experience” by generating custom levels and game modes on the fly.
“Say you want Fortnite to be more of a horror game,” said Russo. “You could ask the AI to ramp up the horror elements of it.”
Mustard cautioned that, “eventually, yeah, it'll get there, but I think it'll, for a while at least, require strong curation.” But ultimately, he said, AI is “just like any new tool or any new form. Artists and craftspeople, we'll find ways to create new, awesome things with it. And it's really just that, it's another exciting, cool technology."