‘Civil War’ Movie Sparks Controversy for AI-Generated Marketing Ads – Hollywood Life

‘Civil War’ Movie Sparks Controversy for Apparent AI-Generated Marketing Ads

Some moviegoers have been critical of the promotional materials, which may not be featured in the actual film.

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Kirsten Dunst stars in 'Civil War'
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Image Credit: Murray Close/A24

New marketing art for the recently released movie Civil War is raising eyebrows. On Wednesday, April 17, A24 released a series of new posters touting its latest film release.

Each image teased postapocalyptic scenes in major United States cities that have been torn apart by conflict. From Las Vegas to Chicago, no city appeared safe from the Civil War. “America the beautiful,” the caption read via Instagram. “#CivilWarMovie.”

But quickly after the images hit the Internet, some movie fans expressed their disappointment at the creative direction.

“Why do you keep posting these ridiculous AI posters? Hire an actual artist,” one user wrote in the comments section. Another follower added, “I’m really turned off by this marketing campaign. AI art is theft and it’s aesthetically awful.”

Others couldn’t help but wonder if the campaign is giving moviegoers a false expectation of what they will actually see on the big screen. As one user wrote, “Spoiler alert, none of this is in movie.”

Kirsten Dunst stars in 'Civil War.'
Kirsten Dunst stars in ‘Civil War.’ (A24)

Hollywood Life has reached out to A24 for comment on the images.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Civil War is A24’s most expensive production to date, costing around $50 million. A source close to the movie told the publication that the images help imagine the nationwide impact of the film’s fictional war. “These are AI images inspired by the movie,” the source explained. “The entire movie is a big ‘what if’ and so we wanted to continue that thought on social — powerful imagery of iconic landmarks with that dystopian realism.”

Civil War follows a team of military-embedded journalists as they race against time to reach Washington D.C. before rebel factions descend upon the White House. The film, from writer-director Alex Garland, earned $25.7 million at the box office on opening weekend — a record for the studio.

Before working on Civil War, however, Alex was known for his 2014 directorial debut, Ex Machina, a film that warned about the dangers of AI.

Putting any controversy aside, actress Kirsten Dunst hopes the film will start a lot of conversations and bring people together.

“The media is making this polarization and feeding it, but this movie really shows you: ‘Don’t do this,'” she told The Hollywood Reporter this month. “So I think that it will make people want to talk to each other and have conversations, and to me, it’s really about treating each other like human beings. The film has a lot of humanity and a lot of hope as well.”