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The movie I Origins, now in theaters, isn’t called that just to be clever. Writer/director Mike Cahill originally sold a film called I to Fox Searchlight, but it was too big to make at the time. So he looked at the backstory to that film and made I Origins in hopes that he’d eventually get to make I. That struggle is detailed at this link.

Now that the movie has opened in a good amount of theaters (and hopefully some of you checked it out) we wanted to dig deep into some spoilers. Specifically, how the end credits tag of I Origins (yes, there’s mind blowing, must-see Nick Fury tag on the film) would directly lead into I. Below, read what Cahill had to say about how about the super spoilery coda scene leads directly into I.

Click here to read about the origins of the original movie, I. Below, there are massive spoilers for I Origins.

I Origins deals with iris biometrics, which is basically the idea that everyone’s eyes are unique like finger prints. In the film though, scientists discover some people who’ve died share an eye pattern with newborns. Are these new people the reincarnation of those old people? That’s the question the film deals with in the framework of a love story.

I won’t spoil that part, but I do want to spoil the end credits scene to being to explain what the I Origins sequel, I, would be about. Again massive spoiler below.

At the very very end of the credits, scientists in the movie begin to run the iris’s of some of history’s most famous people through a massive data base. They’re trying to find out if there are people alive today who share an eye with people like Elvis Presley, Martin Luther King Jr., Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, etc. When the scientists go through the photos, you realize that almost every famous “good person” such as Elvis, John Lennon, MLK, John F. Kennedy Jr., has a match in the system. Someone has their eyes. The “bad people” though – Saddam, Hitler, Osama Bin Laden, etc. have “no match.” They either haven’t been reincarnated, or aren’t in the database. The film suggests, then, if you are good, you get to continue on. If you are bad, you do not. And that almost feels like scientific proof of a higher power deciding on who gets reincarnated and who doesn’t.

With that knowledge, here’s an excerpt of my conversation with Mike Cahill where he explained how that scene is the direct entry into what the I Origins sequel, I, would be.

Mike Cahill: I would take place in the future.

/Film: And it’s a result of that scene? 

Exactly.

Asking ‘What are the implications if everybody ever might have been reincarnated?’

Right. When a baby is born in this world. Once this discovery sort of gets out into the world, here are the implications. Number one, very wealthy people start leaving their fortunes to their future selves. Not just their kids.

Oh interesting.

Right? So you can inherit… you can grow up in the middle of like poverty stricken wherever, scan your eyes and find out you were, you know, this dot com millionaire who left this fortune to you. Also there are people who find out they that were not so good and have to deal with that. And that’s where emotionally it’s interesting to me. ‘Cause it’s like I like sci-fi for the purpose of getting at something human. And if you find out you were a bad dude, what do you do? And that’s a metaphor for our own suppressed pasts that we don’t wanna deal with, right?

Sure.

Like ‘That’s not me. I have nothing to do with that.’ And yet that may influence us subconsciously, our behavior. So we don’t have free will until we acknowledge it.

Is that idea something that you’re still trying to crack then?

I’ve got a lot further to cracking it right now. And so Searchlight’s really excited about it. So we just kind of have to, you know, if people like this movie, we’re gonna…

Make the movie, yeah, sure. 

If three people see it, then, you know.

Yeah, it’s gonna be an issue.

Check back later this week for the full interview with Cahill where we talk about the placement of that scene, the philosophies in the movie and much more.

I Origins is now in theaters. Click here to find a theater near you.

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