'Faster, Cheaper, Better', A Sprawling Drama About A.I. Changing The Global Workplace, Coming From Dan Gilroy

Dan Gilroy, director of the excellent Nightcrawler, the not-so-great Roman J. Israel, Esq., and the underrated Velvet Buzzsaw, has a new, ambitious-sounding project on the way. Faster, Cheaper, Better is a drama with a story that spans 20 years, focusing on the drastic changes of the global marketplace due to the increased use of artificial intelligence.

Deadline has the scoop on Faster, Cheaper, Better, the latest from director Dan Gilroy. The movie is described as '"a character-driven drama that covers an inevitable sweeping changes coming fast that maybe some of us have considered with news reports about how the cross-country trucking industry will be accomplished without human beings in the cars." Additionally, the film spans "20 years in multiple locales with a myriad of characters in interwoven stories that follow a union foreman, a young entrepreneur, an indoor farm executive and a tech billionaire whose lives are upended when automation and AI transform the world as we know it. Ultimately, they all must face what it means to be human."

This sounds like it's bound to be the most ambitious thing Gilroy has done yet, and that's exciting. I know not a lot of people loved Velvet Buzzsaw, but I thought it was a blast, and I'm curious to see what the filmmaker does with such an epic saga. Regarding the project, Gilroy said:

"It's a big multi-narrative film, set over two decades in multiple locales. We follow a group of inter-connected characters, as they deal with automation and AI changing their world, particularly the work world. I've always been interested in machines and technology and it fairly recently how automation and AI are just profoundly transforming the workplace. For example, right now at this moment, there are fully automated factories around the world where robots are literally making robots to replace people in an absolutely endless variety of jobs. Not just manufacturing and production jobs. I realized when I started doing the research that this is just the beginning of a transformational era we are about to enter into, where automation and AI are really the employment equivalent of climate change. And how utterly unprepared we are as people, and as a world, for what is coming."

Gilroy added: "To capture the scope of it, I wrote a large scale, multi-narrative film that's very character-driven, because that's what I do. It's visually arresting and I really believe it's international." The filmmaker also offered some character breakdowns:

  • "There is the part of a union foreman, a representation of what could be and what's worth fighting for. The character is a man with a cause. He believes in rights, he believes in fairness and he's now facing the biggest fight of his life."
  • "There is a young entrepreneur, representative of a younger generation."
  • "There is a young female executive who works at a massive indoor farm."
  • "The other main role is a tech billionaire she has a relationship with, who has his own plotline. The film spans 20 years, so they are aging as we track them during the course of a large, sweeping time span and we're following what happens to these characters as this automation train we are all on, really starts accelerating."
  • Again: this sounds wild and epic, and I'm all in. No word yet on when we'll get to see Faster, Cheaper, Better, though.