Action star Tom Cruise made headlines Friday when he announced that Kitana, the robotic sidekick from the upcoming Gemstone film "RoboNinja," was a self-aware, sentient being worthy of becoming the United States' first robotic citizen.
"Kitana is alive!" insisted Cruise while testifiying before Congress.
"It's really not," testified Anton Yang, production designer for "RoboNinja."
"The Kitana Tom's talking about is just a mock-up for promos," said Yang, who points out the robot is computer-animated in the film.
Yang says he programmed the voice and movement of the "mock-up" built onto a Yamaha robot chassy.
"Kitana is brilliant," said Cruise, "He's just got this great outlook on life and love and existence."
"There's no artificial intelligence what-so-ever," said Yang. "He just repeats 37 phrases. That's it."
Yang says Cruise is reacting to phrases created for Kitana throughout production.
"And we have no idea why Tom thinks the robot is gay," said Yang, though he admits it could be related to Andy Dick's voice-over work. (Dick was one of six actors to portray Kitana.)
Cruise's advocacy for Kitana's citizenship on the talk-show circuit has halted "RoboNinja" production indefinitely.
"It's a fucking train-wreck," said "RoboNinja" director Michael Bay in his last phone interview. "Tom said to me, 'he's alive, like in your Transformer movies.' I said 'that's just special effects, you fucking loon.'"
Bay was found dead shortly there after, apparently having slit his wrists with an Optimus Prime key-chain.
Gemstone Pictures is suing Cruise for custody of the robot, which cost $1.5 million, as well as breach of contract.