An alien Invasion comes to Apple TV +. The original sci-fi series, which launches with its first three episodes starting Friday, October 22, follows several characters scattered across the world in the midst of an alien invasion. In the course of their daily lives, they suddenly discover that their entire world is turned upside down by mysterious – and extraterrestrial – circumstances that overturn their families, their beliefs, and their view of humanity as a whole.
Speaking to CBR, Invasion long-time creator X Men Producer Simon Kinberg explained what sets his series apart from other alien invasion stories. He shared how much classic science fiction loves War of the Worlds, Encounters of the Third Kind and Lost inspired his approach to the show and why he needed his characters to be more important than the sci-fi elements. He also recalled working with astrophysicists and scientists at NASA to truly understand the “unknowability” of alien life, reflected on his work with the X Men deductible and more.
CBR: These days it’s so rare to see an original series with that kind of funding. What do you think it is Invasion who invited that kind of trust from Apple?
Simon Kinberg: First of all, I really appreciate this. I think that’s true, and it was definitely the intention to create something really original in a space that has traveled a lot. There have been a lot of alien stories, and more specifically, even alien invasion stories, but I wanted to do something completely original and crazy, both holistic and so character-centric and character-centric. and emotional and spectacular. I mean, when I walked into Apple, I was like, “I want to do War of the Worlds meets Babel. “
The answer to why Apple said yes is that I don’t know! They may be crazy! Every step of the way, when I was like, “This is going to be too bold for Apple,” they would say, “No, that’s exactly what we want. We want it to be bold. They pushed me in terms of character. They pushed me to the level of daring and originality. So they were incredible partners.
If I had to try to figure it out, other than like, I just think they’re cool and they want to do cool stuff, maybe it’s in a world where there are 75 billion things out there. TV, you have to be bold and original to stand out – unless you’re a great IP! The Star wars and Marvel shows work great, don’t they? But if you are Apple and you don’t have Star wars and Marvel, you got to do some cool, fresh, different stuff and take some big bets, and that shows a big bet in the sense that it does some surprising things and isn’t a cheap show to do.
Tell me a little more about the origin of this idea. You mentioned War or the worlds, but I would like to know more about your specific inspirations for this project.
The aspect of the alien invasion came second to me. I really wanted to tell a sci-fi story and didn’t know what sci-fi story yet, but I’m working in sci-fi. I mean, you know, I do a lot of science fiction work and it’s a genre that I’ve always loved – my favorite genre. So I wanted to tell a sci-fi story that was holistic, it was a set and I really wanted to work in long story TV. I wanted to be able to tell a story that was at least 10 hours long and hopefully longer if all went well with this season.
So it started there, and then I was like, “Okay, well, what is a global event that would unite the world? There are a lot of options out there! They made two films about an asteroid that was going to hit Earth. But pretty quickly, because I loved the book War of the Worlds – I am obsessed with Orson Welles’ radio play, I liked [Steve] Spielberg’s movie a lot, and then I liked a lot of others as well – I quickly turned to “Okay, an alien invasion is a world event.”
Specific movies or shows that influenced Invasion, I would say Encounters of the Third Kind was a great one, although it’s a unique perspective. I loved how small and characterful and complex and mysterious it was. I loved the mystery of Close encounters, as opposed to like showing, like, “Ah! Alien ships!” or detonate monuments and they are unleashed in the streets. I was really interested in the mystery of the tilt, the slowness of Close encounters, and the surprising choice made by Richard Dreyfus at the end.
One show I think about a lot with this show is Lost, because you really care about these characters largely because of the flashbacks of who they were before the crash, and then you really care about the mystery of the show because you lean in and say, “I never did. thought I would care that much about opening a hatch. ” So that’s the patient minutiae of it and how it really grabbed a whole world when this show came out. Those are two things that were touchstones for me doing the show.
How did you go about balancing the drama of the characters with the sci-fi elements? How did you find the real heart of the series?
Well, I think the heart of it all has always been the characters for me. So I wanted to make sure that the characters’ stories, the crises they were going through, their dramas were interesting enough that if it was right It’s us with these characters, you would watch it.
Then I wanted the problem in their life to be such that when the alien invasion happens, this massive global trauma is like a magnifying glass on all of their issues, and it can expose those issues and help them deal with it. , or it can burn them and destroy them and the people around them. So I continued to think that the alien invasion was an accelerator of the little fires that I started with these characters. If the alien invasion becomes so overwhelming that it doesn’t actually move the characters in a direction other than scare them away, if it doesn’t move them in an emotional direction. I’m not doing a good job with the alien story.
As for the mystery of the history of aliens, I’ve spent a lot of time talking to a lot of specialists, astrophysicists, people who work at NASA, amazing and brilliant minds – well, well , well, much brighter than mine; I don’t know anything, nothing about science – and they’ve talked a lot about the unpredictability of what aliens would be like. So I really hung on to that, and I was like, “I want to solve this mystery so that there is just enough of it for you to lean forward, and our characters to lean forward, but not too much. so that you are ahead of the characters. “
Before I let you go, I must bring up the X Men, for which you have been a producer for a while. Now that the property is at Disney and gearing up to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is this a world you can see yourself revisiting? What would be your greatest hope for these characters to move forward?
I mean, you know I love the characters. I love comics. I love [Marvel Studios president] Kevin Feige. I love what he did. I am such an admirer of what he has done with the MCU. I would always be willing to work on it, because I love the characters so much.
But there’s also a part of me that feels like I’m really interested to see what they’re going to do with it, to make it different if I’m not, or even if I am. , because it’s kind of like – not to sound bombastic, but it’s kind of like Shakespeare, where a million people played Hamlet. There have been tons of fascinating versions of Hamlet. I myself started with the original X Men threw then went into the First class throw them away and then put them together in a movie and pull them apart again and do something very different with them Logan than what we were doing with Wolverine and the X Men main franchise. So there are so many different ways to use tone and cast.
I can’t wait to see what they do. I have no hope for what they are doing. I know it’s gonna be cool because everything they do is cool and smart and really well thought out. As a fan of comics and a fan of Marvel movies, I literally can’t wait. So yes, I would definitely be open to being involved. If not, they’ll be on the front lines and very excited to see what they’re doing.
Invasion premieres Friday, October 22 on Apple TV +.
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