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Is Atlas a Titanfall Movie? FSalinks

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  • Netflix film Atlas debuts with a plot similar to the Titanfall game, lacking originality.
  • The film includes recycled elements from Titanfall, leading to comparisons between Atlas and the video game.
  • Despite similarities, director Brad Peyton insists that Atlas is not a Titanfall film, leaving fans questioning its originality.

Netflix’s latest film pitching humans against AI, Atlas, made its debut on May 24, 2024. The film stars Jennifer Lopez in the lead role of Atlas Shepherd, a data analyst who takes on the mission of capturing Harlan, an AI robot gone rogue and now intent on eliminating half of the human population. Lopez is joined by a few notable names, including Simu Liu, Sterling K. Brown, and Mark Strong. However, despite Atlas topping the charts with its promising plot and talented cast, the film has not had much luck in terms of audience reviews.

Since the release of Atlas‘s official trailer in April 2024, viewers have been quick to point out that the premise of the film bears quite a few similarities to the beloved first-person shooter franchise, Titanfall. From the mechs to the manner in which humans interact with them and the relationship between the mech and their humans, Atlas looks to have faithfully adapted certain elements of the game. With fans of the game having long lobbied for another addition to the game, given that Titalfall 2 was released back in 2016, it appears as if Netflix has decided to offer fans of the game some respite. However, does this mean that Atlas is actually a Titanfall film?

What Is Atlas About?


Atlas‘s plot is primarily centered on the AI vs. human dilemma. Despite being created by humans, AI evolves to have a mind of its own, with thinking patterns and technology that inevitably become more advanced than that of humans. This plot, having been the focus of many films in the industry in recent times, is nothing novel for viewers. However, a film or series can establish its own original identity by choosing to depict the conflict between AI and the human race in unique, memorable ways. It is clear that Atlas has attempted to set itself apart from works based on a similar plot through creative choices related to the cast, emotional impact of the narrative, and visual elements.

Having Lopez’s character of Atlas Shepherd as the protagonist and giving her a personal connection to the main AI gone rogue, Harlan, is Atlas‘s attempt to drive home the message that AI technology, despite being created with the best of intentions, cannot be trusted. Appealing to the emotions of viewers and offering a backstory, the film makes Atlas herself the enabler for Harlan to go rogue, even leading to her mother’s death.

It is this guilt that drives Atlas’s resentment and distrust of AI and ultimately impacts her relationship with Smith, her mech, contributing to the film’s plot, meaning, humor, and wit. The narrative is supported by stunning visuals that depict life on Earth as well as the atmosphere on GR-39.

A Film Inspired by the Game

Despite Atlas‘s attempts to carve out its own unique identity, it falls short. In addition to the plot and characters seeming somewhat underdeveloped, Atlas bears too many similarities to Titanfall, almost making it seem like an adaptation of the game. The relationship between Atlas and Smith is reminiscent of the relationship between Jack Cooper and BT-7274 in the game. The mech’s inclination to protect its ranger/pilot is extremely similar in both the game and film. Moreover, the film has also adopted a few taglines from the game, directly incorporating them into the correspondence between Atlas and Smith.


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The storyline of the film is also likely to feel familiar to fans of Titanfall. Smith sacrifices himself for his ranger in the same manner that BT-7274 sacrifices himself for Jack Cooper in the game, and both Smith and BT-7274 are revived through the insertion of their CPUs into new mechs. In addition to the narrative, the film also bears several technical similarities to the game, including the depiction of the mechs, their weapons, and even the way the ranger/pilot enters the mech.

The director of Atlas, Brad Peyton, has not denied that inspiration for Atlas was found in Titanfall. However, talking to Total Film, Peyton also emphasized that Atlas was meant to be its own separate entity, different from the video game. This essentially makes Atlas not a Titanfall film. Regardless of the director’s comments, the stark similarities between the game and film cannot be denied, and viewers have justifiably been questioning how Atlas is not a Titanfall film.

“I’m one of those people that’s seen all the Rutger Hauer movies that no one else has seen – I’m that guy. To me, science-fiction is hallowed ground. And because of that, I don’t want to retread what’s been done well before…So that was Avatar, Aliens… Titanfall, a few other old movies I loved from the 80s – and then to make sure the scale of mine was different. The shape of mine was different. The movement was different. I wanted this to be its own thing.”

Will There be a Titanfall Film?

With Peyton’s emphasis that Atlas is not a Titanfall film, despite the many similarities, the next natural question for fans of the game has been whether a possibility for an actual Titanfall film exists. Unfortunately for fans, at the time of writing, no information regarding a movie based on the games exists. However, future possibilities cannot be denied. After all, much-loved games such as Fallout, Assassin’s Creed, and Halo have gone on to become their own films and series.


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It is likely that a film based on Titanfall may not be the highest priority at the moment, given the backlash that Atlas is experiencing. Despite topping Netflix’s Global Top 10 chart, Atlas has a dismal 20% on Rotten Tomatoes. While the film has been credited for its visual effects, viewers believe that Jennifer Lopez may not have been the optimum fit for the role of Atlas, and have faulted the film for its lack of depth and character development. Given the negativity that the film has attracted, despite adapting enough features to make viewers think Atlas might be a Titanfall film, it would be best if the wave of negativity was ridden out before an actual Titanfall film went into production — if it chooses to do so. Until then, Titanfall-lovers will have to make do with Atlas.

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