An image of the real explosion in Beirut in the trailer for The Creator

An image of the real explosion in Beirut in the trailer for The Creator

A few days before the third commemoration of the explosion, many Lebanese are considering boycotting the film.

On August 4, 2020, a gigantic explosion in the port of Beirut devastated the city, causing hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries. Very quickly, many amateur videos of the disaster had gone around the world. Who would have thought, almost three years later, that one of them would end up in an American science-fiction blockbuster, set to the epic music of Hans Zimmer?

John David Washington battles artificial intelligence in The Creator: trailer

After 7 years of absence since Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), director Gareth Edwards (Monsters, Godzilla) returns behind the camera and unveils a new trailer for The Creator, which he also wrote the screenplay. The Creator takes place in a futuristic world where humans fight against the forces of artificial intelligence. The special forces agent played by John DavidWashington is tasked with tracking down and killing the architect of the AI, the Creator.

And the first images designed with cinematographer Greig Fraser (Dune, The Batman) are stunning, almost a little too realistic… At the 24th second of the teaser, an infamously familiar shot caught fans’ attention. This is a reshoot of the 2020 Beirut Explosion, embellished with CG to change the look of the buildings and make them look more dystopian.

The resemblance of the sequence to the video filmed in Beirut was spotted for the first time on a forum, sparking strong reactions and a debate around the ethics of using these images, the trauma of the drama still being intact:

“I hope this is a shot inserted into the trailer and NOT a clip from the film. If so, I would like to hear the director explain why he chose to include”wrote a suspicious Internet user.“It’s more about using real tragedy to create a fake movie plot – imagine paying a pedestrian for his 9/11 footage so a movie can use it as the basis for the visual effects of a gigantic building under attack”regretted another.

In a video, three American engineers specializing in special effects, who are used to dissecting the trailers on their channel, are formal: “It’s not a good idea at all. We go to the cinema to escape reality, not to rekindle trauma.” Supporting footage demonstrates how video of the August 4 explosion was used in the trailer for The Creator.

On social networks, many have compared the techniques of Gareth Edwards with those of Christopher Nolan, in the wake ofOppenheimer. The thriller, which explores the invention of the atomic bomb, indeed presents a reconstruction of the first Trinity nuclear test, without synthetic images. Except that this one doesn’t use any real-world footage…

The Creator will be released in French cinemas on September 29, 2023.

Gareth Edwards: “I was given two scripts to read: Rogue One, and another top secret”

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