I almost didn’t post this trailer because I find it so underwhelming. Following last year’s excellent and ostensibly similar Ex Machina, Morgan has quite a bit to live up to. It’s hard to bring anything new to the “locked up A.I. ‘person’ going rogue” sub-genre of science fiction, but a great story and great execution is far more important than a “fresh take.” The problem with this trailer is that it’s trying to maintain some sense of mystery, keeping Morgan’s face concealed throughout and making vaguer-than-necessary allusions to Morgan’s true nature. This desire is also evident in the name of the promotional website, WhatIsMorgan.com.
What is Morgan? I’m guessing some kind of android, robot, cyborg, something along those lines. Something that falls between the range of “Not Quite Human” and “Not Just a Machine.” There are only so many places to go with this, and masking Morgan’s face feels ridiculous when the website they direct you to greets you with a direct look at her face. Does this movie have two different marketing teams with a Right Twix/Left Twix rivalry going on? Why else would the trailer go through such deliberate efforts to hide her face only for the website to blow any surprise that might have been hiding under that hoodie?
Morgan was one of the 2014 “Black List” scripts–the annual list of the “most liked” un-produced screenplays considered as chosen by industry professionals, so I could be off base here. Some great movies have eventually come out of former Black List scripts, including Looper and The Wrestler. Then again, The Bucket List and the Clash of the Titans remake were also Black List scripts once upon a time, so it’s hardly a guarantee that a Black List script will turn into a good film. Even if a script is great, a lot can happen during development to turn it into something unrecognizable. I guess we’ll get our chance to find out if Morgan‘s final product is better than this trailer makes it out to be when it comes to theaters.