Comedy 'Future Man' Is Also a Cautionary Tale About Wealth and Tech, Haley Joel Osment Says

January 14, 2019

By Chloe Aiello

When Haley Joel Osment first encountered A.I. onscreen in 2001, he was an adorably intense child playing the titular role in Steven Spielberg's film, "A.I. Artificial Intelligence." Now he's all grown up, and facing a less benevolent version of the future in Hulu's "Future Man," which debuted its second season last week.

"It's a very silly comedy but it does have underpinnings with real concerns about our future. It's just sort of impossible to make work these days without referencing the sort of pervading sense of doom in everything," Osment told Cheddar Monday.

The time-travel comedy from the makers of "This is the End" and "Sausage Party," features an impressive cast that includes Seth Rogan and Kristen Schaal. Osment plays Dr. Stu Camillo ー or an A.I.-powered projection of him ー who lords over what's left of the human population in a barren, arid future.

"It looks like chaos on a scorched earth where all animal life has died," Osment said. "It's apocalyptic. People have found reasons to live, although the quality of life has really declined."

While the show makes light of the darkness, Osment said it's also a "very realistic" cautionary tale about what can happen if too much power is concentrated in the hands of too few.

"I think a lot of people in our generation have really come around to the fact that it's a bad idea for a small number of extremely rich people to be deciding policy, which they basically do in all parts of society right now. And if you aren't careful, 'Future Man' season two might happen in the future," he said.

The former child star is well-aware that A.I. has come a long, complicated way since he starred in Spielberg's film.

"I felt at the time ー and I remember Steven saying that he and Stanley Kubrick felt ー like this was going to be one of those movies that would probably be referenced going into the future because A.I. was an inevitable technological advancement," Osment said.

The current reality of A.I. doesn't much resemble Spielberg's imaginings.

"When we made 'A.I.,' the A.I.s were sort of sympathetic and somewhat humanoid and everything. A.I. now is just in in the air, in the cloud, we don't even see it or know what it's doing all the time, so I'm a little bit more wary about it," he said.

For full interview click here.