Michael Rianda and Jeff Rowe are the creative minds behind one of the most riotously funny and inventive movies of this year. In The Mitchells Vs The Machines, two terrible things happen to young filmmaker Katie Mitchell. First, her dad decides to surprise her by taking the entire family on a cross-country road trip on the eve of her going to college. And second, the tech apocalypse strikes, enslaving pretty much all mankind. It’s neck and neck as to which one is worse for Katie, voiced by Abbi Jacobson. Together, it’s up to the Mitchells to stop the robot uprising and save the world.
Featuring groundbreaking animation, hilarious movie references and Olivia Colman as an evil Alexa, The Mitchells vs The Machines had it all. But, as you’ll discover in today’s episode, the film almost went in a very different direction. Originally titled Control Alt Escape, their first draft found the Mitchells on a mission with the President of the United States. It had a drastically different ending and a reduced role for two of the movie’s standout characters: glitching robots Eric and Deborahbot 5000. In the conversation you’re about to hear, we dig into all of those changes, as well as the film’s graceful LGBTQ+ representation, its chances of a sequel and yes, that scene with the demonic Furby.
This is a spoiler conversation, so be sure to watch The Mitchells Vs The Machines on Netflix before listening.
Support for this episode comes from Screencraft, Caveday and Coverfly.
Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen. The show is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get a free digital copy of the Script Apart Magazine by supporting us on Patreon! 51 pages of interviews with great screenwriters, including exclusive conversations you won't find anywhere else. You can also now support the show on Ko-Fi.
Support the show (https://patreon.com/scriptapart)