Let's safely file this under "WTF?"
If you will, allow us to introduce you to Erica, the latest leading woman in Hollywood. And no, dear reader, she's not just a regular human being like you or me, ooohhh no. She's not just going by a one-word name like Madonna or Cher because she's cool - she just so happens to be a robot actress. No biggie, right?
News coming in from The Hollywood Reporter is that Erica, real name ERato Intelligent Conversational Android, has landed the lead role in an upcoming project entitled 'b'. The $70 million science fiction film is being developed by Bondit Capital Media, who have been responsible for the likes of Oscar-nominated movie 'Loving Vincent', which itself was rather experimental fusing a fully-painted world into the storytelling of Vincent van Gogh.
Producers involved say this 'b' movie will be the first to rely on an artificially intelligent actor (and will no doubt save them millions for not needing to hire a leading actress in the role).
The storyline of the movie will follow a scientist who discovers that a program he created to perfect human DNA has certain dangers, and so he helps Erica the A.I. robot escape.
One of the visual effects supervisors of 'b', Sam Khoze, says of the robot's starring role: "In other methods of acting, actors involve their own life experiences in the role. But Erica has no life experiences. She was created from scratch to play the role.
"We had to simulate her motions and emotions through one-on-one sessions, such as controlling the speed of her movements, talking through her feelings and coaching character development and body language."
Japanese scientists Hiroshi Ishiguro and Kohei Ogawa created Erica as part of their study diving deep into the intricacies of robotics, and taught the robot to act too.
There has as of yet been no director attached to the 'b' project, but producers have already filmed some of Erica the A.I. robot actress scenes in Japan, and expect to shoot the rest in Europe next year.
So, what does Erica look like, and just how good is her acting? Here's a clip of her in action.
With everything happening in the world this year, this news isn't really all that surprising, is it?