Mark Rylance Insists His AI Is Harmless

Collider can exclusively announce the sci-fi scripted podcast Spark Hunter is coming to Realm this November. Directed and executive produced by filmmaker Trudie Styler (Freaky Show), Spark Hunter emulates an unofficial audio recording between a dangerous AI and its creator.

Spark Hunter takes us to the near future when the NSA and POTUS fear an AI has gone rogue and can do some serious damage in the world. That’s why the agencies decide to take down the robot (Rebecca Ferguson). However, the robot’s maker (Mark Ryan) asks for one last chance to convince everyone that AI is harmless. So, they all set a dinner where the maker and his creation can discuss the limits of consciousness and what it means to be alive, all while NASA and POTUS station snippers ready to shoot the AI ​​should things go south.


The premise is thrilling, as a contained setting puts the focus on the verbal chess game the AI ​​and its maker. But the story has a twist, as the maker will reveal secrets about the AI’s programming during the dinner. Finally, the podcast works as an unofficial release of an audio recording, as the AI ​​and the maker’s conversation gets delivered to the public on Election Day. There are many layers to untangle in Spark Hunterand we can’t wait to hear all eight episodes to get the full picture.

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Spark Hunter‘s cast also includes Charles dance (Game of Thrones, Man), Kathleen Turner (Peggy Sue Got Married), Vanessa Redgrave (Julia, Howard’s End), Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Gosford Park), Edward Hibbert (Frasier), Linda Powell (Morning Glory, The Report), Fisher Stevens (Succession, The Lincoln Project), De’Adre Aziza (She’s Gotta Have it, Passing Strange), and John Douglas Thompson (Till, The Bourne Legacy, For Life). The podcast also features world-renowned recording artists sting and Eliot Sumner (The Gentlemen) as guests. Tony winner Gareth Fry (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) serves as sound designer.

Commenting on Spark Hunter‘s release, Molly BartonRealm’s CEO and co-founder said:

“I was in from the moment I heard the incredible performances by Rebecca Ferguson, Mark Rylance and the many world renowned performers featured in this series. We are so pleased to partner with KB, Teressa and Trudie on bringing Spark Hunter to the world – it is an elegy on our collective future, a Blade Runner for today, and we’re so excited for listeners everywhere to experience it.”

Styler also added:

“Part thriller and part love story, what I loved most about this podcast is how it reflects humanity, showcasing our ability to spark change and make sense of our world through the stories we tell. But we must be intentional in our prose and tell stories that matter. Spark Hunter is just that kind of piece and I’m thrilled to work with Realm, KB, Teressa, Mark, Charles, Rebecca, and the rest of our extraordinary ensemble to bring this spectacular work to life and to listeners.”

Spark Hunter appropriately comes to Realm on November 8, Election Day. Check out the trailer and the scripted podcast synopsis below:

Spark Hunter examines the story of the world’s most advanced robot (Ferguson) who is pitted against the NSA and POTUS who believe she’s gone rogue and are determined to decommission her. Only her maker (Rylance) knows what danger she poses to the world and over a sumptuous meal, they discuss her moral dilemma and dark existential crisis, that make her technology a lethal weapon in the hands of Naval Intelligence. With sharpshooters in position to take her out, and the NSA and the President listening in, her Maker must determine if she is a threat to herself or others as he tries to protect his masterpiece, a machine with an evolving consciousness who is increasingly drawn into one of the most human of struggles– the unrelenting desire to understand her purpose in the universe. As dessert is served, tension escalates when, in an act of treason, her Maker reveals shocking information about her programming that swings the story in a starting direction. Their fateful dinner is recorded in The Spark Hunter File and released on Election Day, November 8, 2044.

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