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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 30th June 2017 > A Pig’s Tale How Jon Ronson, a Welsh nerd, came to write a South Korean action film

A Pig’s Tale How Jon Ronson, a Welsh nerd, came to write a South Korean action film

SUMMER MOVIE SPECIAL

JESSE DITTMAR FOR NEWSWEEK

THE STRANGEST MOVIE villain of the summer was inspired by a TED Talk. Oh, and a robot hummingbird.

It was February of 2012. The Welsh writer Jon Ronson had traveled to Long Beach, California, for the annual TED conference, where he was to deliver a talk about psychopaths. (Ronson’s book The Psychopath Test had been published the previous year.) While there, he was unexpectedly captivated by a presentation from Regina Dugan, then-director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). “She comes on in a poloneck jumper looking like Steve Jobs and gives this TED Talk about weaponry,” Ronson recalls. While lecturing on the miraculous rise of flight, Dugan welcomed to the stage a hummingbird drone, which began zooming, eerily birdlike, above the crowd. Audience members gasped.

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