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‘A Murder At The End Of The World’ Creators Talk AI & Inspiration Behind The Series

What started off as a creative fantasy story unintentionally became hyperrealistic in Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij’s hit limited series A Murder at the End of the World.

The writing duo, who also served as co-creators, directors and EPs of the FX series, sat down at Deadline’s Contenders TV event Sunday to discuss the inspiration behind the mystery.

Marling explained that the idea of the tech retreat came to them back in 2019, after several of their own friends had gone through similar experiences, describing how interesting she found it that “Everyone’s so willing to surrender to the largess of the billionaire, but what are the billionaire’s intentions?”

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At the time, artificial intelligence was nowhere near where it is today, with several of their own friends attempting to discourage them from making it so central to the plot saying “AI’s so far away, do Mars, do this, but don’t do AI”. They didn’t let that deter them, both affirming that they’d wanted it in from the start. The duo had even gotten access to a beta version of Chat GPT that was laughably bad when getting inspiration, making them agree that the story was just sci-fi.

Then, as they were writing it, Chat GPT broke through, and “it just became real life”.

As for the likelihood of a second season, the pair didn’t give any concrete details but stated, “it is possible….but we’d have to wait for a good ending”.

RELATED: Contenders TV – Deadline’s Full Coverage

A Murder at the End of the World is set at the remote and isolated compound of a reclusive billionaire and stars Emma Corrin as the amateur sleuth Darby Hart, a Gen Z tech-savvy hacker. Darby and eight other guests are invited by a reclusive billionaire (Clive Owen) to participate in a retreat at a remote and dazzling location. When one of the other guests is found dead, Darby must use all of her skills to prove it was murder against a tide of competing interests and before the killer takes another life.

Marling and Batmanglij have been writing partners for over a decade. They have written and produced a couple movies together, including The Sound Of My Voice and The East, which Batmanglij also directed and Marling starred in. She also headlined the duo’s Netflix series The OA, which ran for two seasons.

A Murder at the End of the World is produced by FX Productions. Marling and Batmanglij executive produce alongside Andrea Sperling (Transparent), Melanie Marnich and Nicki Paluga.

Check back Monday for the panel video.

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