Self/Less movie features uploading … to an existing human body

July 10, 2015

In Self/Less, a science-fiction thriller to be released in the U.S. today, July 10, 2015, Damian Hale, an extremely wealthy aristocrat (Ben Kingsley) dying from cancer, undergoes a $250 million radical medical procedure at a lab called Phoenix Biogenic in Manhattan to have his consciousness transferred into the body of a healthy young man (Ryan Reynolds).

(credit: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle / Gramercy Pictures)

But when he starts to uncover the mystery of the body’s origin — he has flashbacks in a dream of a former life as Mark — he discovers the body was not grown in a laboratory, as promised, and that the “organization” he bought the body from will kill to protect its investment. To make matters worse, he faces the threat of losing control of the body he now possesses and its original owner’s consciousness resurfacing, which will erase his mind in the process.

Curiously, at one point, Mark looks up the scientist who did the transfer on Wikipedia, and finds that he was the “godfather of transhumanism.” “What many summer movie-goers might not realize is that Self/less is loosely based on a real-life project called the 2045 Initiative, which is being spearheaded by Dmitry Itskov, a Russian multi-millionaire, Ars Technica suggests. But the theme has also been explored in a number of movies, ranging from Metropolis to The Sixth Day, Avatar, and The Age of Ultron.

(credit: 2045 Strategic Social Initiative)