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Feature: The Invasion

Film image

Look to the skies, the biggest Sci Fi movie of the year is headed this way. We talk to star Daniel Craig, producer Joel Silver and director Oliver Hirschbiegel

No doubt The Invasion, the latest re-imagining of the classic ‘body Snatchers’ tale, will see many movie analysts looking for links between its story line and the current political climate, a fact that producer Joel Silver (The Matrix) is more than aware of. “It still has political overtones, but I think it’s about how an insidious invasion like this could happen, how without us realizing it or being aware of it, it could just creep in and take over,” he comments. “That was the most effective part of the material. David Kajganich wrote an original screenplay that really is fresh and takes the idea in a different light, and we did good service to that.”

The Invasion, which stars Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman, updates, but doesn’t stray too far from, the source material, despite reports to the contrary. The film begins with a tragic space shuttle crash, the craft’s hull, unbeknownst to the people of Earth, carrying an alien spore brought back from its voyage into Space. As the population become exposed to this extra-terrestrial menace they begin to change in terrifying ways. The first to notice the bizarre epidemic is Washington DC psychiatrist Carol Bennell (Kidman) and her colleague Ben Driscoll (Craig) who come to realize that the plague is other-worldly. They’re also the first to cotton on to the fact that people are succumbing to the infection whilst asleep, waking as utterly emotionless drones known as ‘Snatchers’, who only exist to contaminate others and take control.

Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, most famous for helming the exceptional German-language film Downfall, an account of the last days of Adolf Hitler, The Invasion will no doubt have a grittier edge and more thoughtful plot than the average Sci Fi blockbuster. “It’s exciting to find that we’re going through a time where political cinema is entertaining,” remarks star Daniel Craig, in reference to the fact that the first people to become mindless Snatchers in the film are those in seats of political power in Washington. “You can entertain people and make them think, and it really boils down to that.”

Speaking from the location shoot in downtown Baltimore, the city chosen to stand in for the nation’s capital, Hirschbiegel describes the night’s filming which revolves around a scene where Ben and Carol are trying to rescue Oliver from the Snatchers. “They stole a police car, but they were detected and are now being followed,” he says from the freezing cold makeshift set. “And the strange thing is that the cops don’t do anything. They seem to push them in a certain direction. They’ve pushed them towards the centre where they detain all the people that haven’t changed. Ben comes up with this plan to really take a fast turn into an alley and get Carol out of the car, then be the hero and distract the crowd so that she can get away.”

by Chris Prince

Read the full feature in
Film Review (Sep)

Photo © Warner Bros. Pictures
Feature © Visual Imagination 2007. Not for reproduction

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Film Review (Sep), see below for ordering options
Film Review (Sep)
#687, September 2007
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