Here's How Weta Created The 'I Am Mother' Robot

I Am Mother is now streaming on Netflix, and whatever you might think of the sci-fi film, you have to admit: the robot at the center of the story looks pretty darn cool. That robot is the creation of Weta Workshop, the special effects and prop company founded by Peter Jackson and made famous by the Lord of the Rings franchise, and Fin Design + Effects. In a new I Am Mother featurette below, see how Weta worked hard to make the film's robot look as real as possible.

I Am Mother Featurette 

I haven't watched I Am Mother yet (it's in my queue!), but I've heard good things. Our own Ben Pearson raved about the film, and took time to single-out the film's robot character in his review:

The Mother character is a triumph of design, an efficient, bi-pedal entity with a slim, anthropomorphized face that "smiles" by moving a pair of lights in unison. Mother's head tilts and light patterns are evocative and emotional, almost like a less whimsical WALL*E. It's a practical suit worn by WETA Workshop's Luke Hawker (who also designed it) and digitally enhanced by the team at Fin Design + Effects. Inspired by actual robots at Boston Dynamics, Mother is 100% believable at all times – so perfectly realized that all of the artifice immediately slips away. Like HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey, Mother can be both sensitive and dangerous; unlike HAL, she can unnervingly sprint through corridors at breakneck speed and get your pulse racing at the thought of what her metallic hands might do to a human in her path.

As the video explains, "Rather than a prop, dummy, or fully CGI character, Mother is a complex specialty robot suit, worn by a real human performer. Featuring more than 300 components, LED lights, animatronics, 3D printing, and model-made elements, the suit takes 45-60 minutes to be bolted onto the actor." And it looks great!

I Am Mother focuses on "a teenage girl (Clara Rugaard), who is the first of a new generation of humans to be raised by Mother (Rose Byrne), a robot designed to repopulate the earth after the extinction of humankind. But the pair's unique relationship is threatened when an injured stranger (Hilary Swank) arrives with news that calls into question everything Daughter has been told about the outside world and her Mother's intentions." Grant Sputore directs from a script by Michael Lloyd Green. You can stream I Am Mother now on Netflix.