The idea of an ongoing, personalized storytelling experience is kind of cool (although, in my opinion, it would take away the communal aspect of pop culture), but Russo immediately took it to an oddly ghoulish place with his example. ” You could walk into your house and save the AI on your streaming platform,” he said, according to Collider. For example: “‘Hey, I want a movie starring my photoreal avatar and Marilyn Monroe’s photoreal avatar. I want it to be a rom-com because I’ve had a rough day,’ and it renders a very competent story with dialogue that mimics your voice.”

That’s right: Joe Russo’s primary example of AI as the future of storytelling involves casting oneself in a love story opposite the image of a real-life dead celebrity whose public legacy is famously studded with exploitation and objectification. We literally just got done talking about how upsetting it is for people to mess with her image in particular, yet with the whole world of AI at our fingertips, Russo apparently imagines we’ll all turn into Harry Styles’ character in “Don’t Worry, Darling.” 

Granted, the filmmaker doesn’t actually seem to make an explicit judgment call about whether this scenario is a good thing or a bad thing, but it’s a pretty nightmarish portrait he’s painted here and he later went on to say he’s “excited” about AI because it signals the “democratization of storytelling.” He also explained that, in the Monroe example, the technology could mimic the user’s voice so that “suddenly now you have a rom-com starring you that’s 90 minutes long. So you can curate your story specifically to you.”