Edwards returns to the big
screen with The Creator

It’s been seven years since Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, directed by UCA alumni Gareth Edwards, hit cinemas. But now the Nuneaton-born auteur is back, and gaining heaps of critical praise, for his latest movie.

10 Nov 2023

Above, Gareth Edwards at the premiere of The Creator. Picture by StillMoving.net for Disney.

Award-winning UCA alumnus Gareth Edwards' latest sci-fi adventure, The Creator, has garnered wide acclaim for its visual imagery and spectacular set-pieces, as well as its thought-provoking storyline.

Set in the future, the film’s focus is on Joshua (John David Washington), a hardened ex-special forces agent grieving the disappearance of his wife, who is recruited to hunt down and kill the Creator, the elusive architect of advanced AI who has developed a mysterious weapon with the power to end the war - and mankind itself.

Also starring Gemma Chan, Ken Watanabe and Allison Janney, The Creator was many years in the making. Gareth, who graduated from UCA with a BA (Hons) in Film & Video in 1996, got the first idea for the script while travelling. He co-wrote the film with Chris Weitz, directed and co-produced it as well.

UCA alumni Gareth Edwards being interviewed by Edith Bowman at the premiere of The Creator
Gareth Edwards being interviewed by Edith Bowman at the premiere of The Creator. Picture by StillMoving.net for Disney.

“It was important to me that we approach this film completely differently, or not to do it at all," he says. "But trying to convince a major studio to do an original sci-fi epic in this era is very difficult, if not impossible. It was clear our only real hope would lie in making it for a lot less money.”

In the end, The Creator was made for $80 million, and one thing that’s really caught the eye of the critics, is the way a blockbuster ‘look and feel’ has been achieved with a Sony FX3, an entry-level full-frame cinema camera. Gareth and his crew also took the unusual step of shooting in real countries, in real locations, with real actors – in fact more than 80 locations in eight different countries - and then, once the film was edited together, adding the VFX with the expertise of Industrial Light and Magic. “The studios were sceptical," he says. "Would this work? It all sounded a bit of a crazy gamble. So, we set out to prove it.”

The timing of The Creator’s release is apt – as the world struggles with many of the themes addressed in the movie.

Gareth said: “Even though we’ve been developing this movie for years, it’s opening at a fascinating time when our world is wrestling with a lot of the issues and questions we wanted to address within the film – what it means to be human, whether AI can be conscious, questions of good and evil, among AI and among people. I really think that exploring these questions is what sci-fi does best.”

Producer Jim Spencer, who has worked with Gareth for 20 years, said of him: “he’s an incredible collaborator. His energy and passion flow through every frame of this movie. He’s a world-builder with a unique vision and style. There is never any doubt when you are watching a Gareth Edwards film.”

The Creator is in cinemas now, and if you're interested in our film courses, check out our course pages.