Director Leigh Whannell paints a smart dark future in UpgradeDirector Leigh Whannell visited CNET to talk about his newest movie, body-hacking and his fascination with social media.
As a quadriplegic it must be frustrating for you for someone who likes to get things done with their hands. [MUSIC] Upgrade is about character named Grey, it's set in the near future. It's not 200 years in the future but it's just around the corner And all the things we're on the brink of now have become ubiquitous in this world, self-driving cars and smart kitchens and smart homes. One night, he and his wife are attacked by these guys. They're both shot, and she is killed, and he is left a quadriplegic. So his entire world is shattered, and he's offered the chance to have a computer implant in his neck. That will bridge the gap between his brain and his limbs and essentially cure his paralysis. So it's about this guy kind of merging with technology, and what this chip can do for him and what it does. So how did this idea come to you? I remember I was sitting in my back yard and this image of a quadrapaligic Person being controlled and puppeteered by a computer. So that the head was doing different than the body and that just kind of appeared in my head and I couldn't stop thinking about it.>> It does painted unsettling vision of the future, not the self driving car and the house tech and hey make me a smoothie that's all cool and I am happy with that.>>Yeah.>>But just. You know that biohacking and how much tech becomes literally part of your body and then what happens. What's really interesting to me is how much we invest emotionally in social media, like I feel like I'm really unqualified to have this discussion in this room [LAUGH] [LAUGH] [UNKNOWN] I'm in San Francisco, there's a whole bunch of [UNKNOWN] whatever buddy. [LAUGH] I do this for a living, [BLEEP] Nobody would say that outloud. Yeah, outloud. Personally, what's [UNKNOWN] to me is how much we invest emotionally in social media like Just creating these little ideal avatars of ourselves and investing so much in it. It makes me realize that when VR comes out in it's best form, people will just leave the planet Earth. And be like, no I'm way better in this world. And I I'm just curious, I'm like wow we're really putting a lot of ourselves into these little avatars. No one puts pictures of their toenail fungus. It's always like them in the Greek Islands. It's like, yea, I'm sure you're always in the Greek islands, buddy. Would you make a movie in Vero? Yes. I mean I would if I had an idea that was best served by that. The audience wants to be in this story. They don't want to be watching it. I would totally go for it, you know. So wanna ask you some tech questions. What's your favorite piece of tech. Man, favorite piece of tech? Okay, because I'm a writer, my laptop, the traditional laptop, because to me it's everything. I mean I take it around with me everywhere It's where all my ideas are. I do need to be backing up better. [LAUGH] What piece of tech do you wish were invented that you would like that hasn't been invented yet? Interesting. Well, the self-driving cars is a big one, because, I mean, I live in Los Angeles, so you spent so much, I could be so much more productive if I didn't have to drive. I'll be happy if I can Be sitting back in the self-driving car doing other things like watching films or reading and not wasting so much time in the car. [BLANK_AUDIO]