T.J. Miller Zooms into Comic-Con in Crypto-scammer cosplay

T.J. Miller Zooms into Comic-Con in Crypto-scammer cosplay

T.J. Miller Zooms into Comic-Con in crypto-scammer cosplay: ‘AI will not replace us!’

The comedian appeared remotely during the “Audience Is King” panel as a version of Sam Bankman-Fried.

Author Maureen Lee Lenker

T.J. Miller is always a wild card, and he brought plenty of surprises to Comic-Con on Friday.

The comedian and actor appeared via Zoom on a panel for his new animated show, Fortun3, an interactive series coming to Toonstar that was inspired by the collapse of FTX and crypto-scammer Sam Bankman-Fried. Miller stars as a character inspired by Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of the failed cryptocurrency firm who was arrested in the Bahamas in December before being extradited to the U.S. and faces 12 criminal charges for lying to investors and committing fraud.

The show will include an AI-powered companion game, which will allow players to develop characters via a series of life decisions and moral dilemmas. The creators at Toonstar are billing it as Sims meets the Game of Life. A press release details: “As the series storyline advances in each episode, it will impact corresponding chapters of the companion game. AI will power the development of original characters and shareable digital comic books based on token holders’ gameplay. Players will also have the opportunity for their characters to earn a role in the animated series.”

Miller was billed to be appearing on the “Audience Is King” panel at the 2023 San Diego Comic-Con in support of the new series and speaking more broadly about audience participation in content development. But he surprised fans by appearing in character, sporting a dark curly wig and purportedly joining virtually from a “hotel in the Bahamas” where he was gorging on Chinese food.

T.J. Miller at Comic-Con 2023

T.J. Miller at Comic-Con 2023

| Credit: Rebecca Detken

In response to a question about how excited he was to be involved with a new form of storytelling, he said, “Well, first of all, I’ve been eating takeout in the Bahamas literally all day… As far as if it’s intimidating, it’s not. I’m really not intimidated by anything. I don’t know why I would be. I’m easily one of the smartest working in the industry today. But connecting with people in a new way is really exciting … and it is industry-changing. I’m just incredibly excited.”

Fortun3 will also feature Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite) and Amber Rose as a recurring guest star. Heder also spoke at the Comic-Con panel.

Artificial intelligence and its role in entertainment is a hot-button issue in Hollywood at the moment. It remains a main point of contention in contract negotiations between the studios and the currently striking members of WGA and SAG-AFTRA.

Miller leaned into the subject, given that the show is tied to an AI-driven game, and concluded the panel by opening a fortune cookie and reading aloud the fortune, which said, “AI will not replace us!” before jumping out of the frame and cheering, “YES!”

Additional reporting by Rebecca Detken.

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