"You make yourselves out to be paragons of cool and champions of indie film, then you go and do a loser thing like use AI, which is built on stolen art?"

Online Outrage

Alex Garland's drama-saddled "Civil War" has already caused its fair share of online outrage, from audiences scratching their heads at certain plot elements — California and Texas as allies?! — to its lazy depiction of war journalists.

Now there's a new front to the discourse battles on the buzzy A24 flick: its use of AI-generated art for posters promoting the film, The Hollywood Reporter reports, which has kicked up a dust storm of questions and anger on social media.

A24 had recently released a series of apocalyptic scenes on Instagram promoting the movie, but THR reports that the images — one of which shows soldiers and military vehicles in Manhattan's Washington Square Park — aren't depicted in the movie but instead are AI-generated, drawing heat from the online peanut gallery.

"None of this happens in the movie," THR reports one Instagram user commenting on the images. "I don’t understand this campaign. U are selling a movie that doesn’t exist and it’s very bizarre. I love a24 with all my heart but i am so bloody confused about what happened with this film."

Startlingly, the images seem to contain geographical errors, even butchering an iconic view of Chicago.

Comments have continued to blast A24's use of AI art, with one Instagram user seething that "ai generated posters coming from a24 was not in my 2024 bingo card. incredibly disappointing."

There's "one picture missing: the a24 headquarters after posting this abomination," one user quipped. Burn.

Not So Civil

THR reported that a source close to the film said the posters were meant to imagine the landmarks in the movie's setting.

The icy reception to the posters doesn't appear to have made a dent on the movie's overall appeal — it's making a splash at the box office and generating buzz among moviegoers and on social.

But the use of AI does show a certain hypocrisy: come and pay to see our movie, A24 seems to be saying, but we're going to use AI-generated art, built on work taken without permission from artists and photographers who haven't been compensated.

The use of AI also clashes with the cool, genre-busting image that A24 projects to moviegoers with its roster of popular cult films like "Pearl" and "Midsommar."

One user on the social media platform X-formerly-Twitter summed up this apparent contradiction.

"Hey @A24, why in the everliving FUCK are using AI in your Civil War advertisements. You make yourselves out to be paragons of cool and champions of indie film, then you go and do a loser thing like use AI, which is built on stolen art? What gives?" 

More on AI art: Redditors Vent and Complain When People Mock Their "AI Art"

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