The Invasion (film)

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The Invasion
The Invasion film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel
James McTeigue (uncredited)[1]
Produced by Joel Silver
Written by David Kajganich
The Wachowskis (uncredited)[1]
Based on The Body Snatchers
by Jack Finney
Starring Nicole Kidman
Daniel Craig
Jeremy Northam
Jackson Bond
Jeffrey Wright
Veronica Cartwright
Music by John Ottman
Cinematography Rainer Klausmann
Edited by Joel Negron
Hans Funck
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • August 17, 2007 (2007-08-17)
Running time
99 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $65–80 million[1][2]
Box office $40.2 million[2]

The Invasion is a 2007 American science fiction horror film directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, with additional scenes written by The Wachowskis and directed by James McTeigue, and starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig. Its plot follows a Washington, D.C. psychiatrist (Kidman) who finds those around her turning into emotionless beings shortly after a major space shuttle crash.

Development of the film began in 2004, Warner Bros. hired David Kajganich to write what was intended to be a remake of the 1956 film Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but Kajganich crafted a different story as an original conception and to reflect contemporary times. Principal photography began in September 2005. The film was released on August 17, 2007, and grossed $40.2 million against a $65-80 million budget.

The Invasion is the fourth film adaptation of the 1955 novel The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney, following Don Siegel's 1956 film, Philip Kaufman's 1978 remake, and Abel Ferrara's 1993 Body Snatchers.


After the space shuttle Patriot crashes on Earth, a fungus-like alien lifeform is discovered on the remaining parts scattered over U.S. territory. Once people come into contact with the organism, they are controlled by it when they enter REM sleep. One of the first people infected is Tucker Kaufman, a CDC director investigating the crash.

Tucker's ex-wife, psychiatrist Carol Bennell, begins to feel something is amiss when people seem to have "changed". Her patient, Wendy Lenk (played by Veronica Cartwright, who appeared in the 1978 film version as Nancy Bellicec), describes how her husband "is not her husband", and one of her son's friends acts detached and emotionless.

At a neighborhood Halloween party, Carol's son Oliver finds a "skin" on a partier which is initially believed to be costume makeup. Carol speculates that the skin may be an organism connected to reports of a fast-spreading flu. Carol takes the organism to her doctor friend Ben Driscoll to have it checked. Carol attends a friendly dinner meeting between Russian diplomat Yorish and Czechoslovakian diplomat Belicec (along with female companion Luddie) and discusses her postmodern feminism views over caviar and champagne. Meanwhile, Tucker uses the CDC to spread the disease further, disguising the spores as flu vaccine.

Ben and Dr. Stephen Galeano, a biologist, discover how the spore takes over the brain during REM sleep. During this investigation, Luddie calls Ben, worried about Yorish's behavior. Driscoll and Galeano also find that people who had brain-affecting illnesses, such as encephalitis or ADEM, are immune to the spore because their previous illnesses prevents the spore from "latching on" to the brain matter. Carol's son, Oliver, is immune to the spore because of the ADEM he had as a young child. Carol decides to get her son, who might show a way to a cure, back from Tucker. Before she drives to Tucker's house, she joins Ben's team who is called to the house of the Belicecs, the Czech ambassador and his wife, in a case of emergency. There they witness the transformation of Yorish, the Russian ambassador and the Belicecs' friend.

When Carol arrives at Tucker's house, he and several colleagues close in on her. He explains that the changed humans, devoid of irrational emotions, are offering a better world, and asks her to join them. When Carol resists, he holds her to the ground and infects her by spurting his saliva on her. She escapes and returns to Ben at the Belicecs' house. They flee when Belicec returns with more transformed people intent on infecting anyone in the house.

Galaneo and one of his assistants head to a base outside Baltimore where they and other scientists attempt to find a cure for the alien virus. Carol and Ben separate to find Oliver, who texts his location, the apartment of Tucker's mother, to Carol.

Finally, Ben arrives, but Carol realizes that he too has become one of the infected. He successfully seduces her to give in to the new society, but also frankly states that there is no room for people like Oliver who are immune. Carol shoots Ben in the leg and flees with Oliver. She is picked up by helicopter and flies to the center preparing the inoculations. In time, the alien virus is reversed and society reverts to its non-violent ways.




In March 2004, Warner Bros. hired screenwriter David Kajganich to write a script that would serve as a remake of the 1956 science fiction film Invasion of the Body Snatchers.[3] In July 2005, director Oliver Hirschbiegel was attached to helm the project, with production to begin in Edgemere, Maryland.[4] The following August, Nicole Kidman was cast to star in the film then titled Invasion, receiving a salary of close to $17 million. Invasion was based on the script by Kajganich, originally intended as a remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but Kajganich crafted a different enough story for the studio to see the project as an original conception.[5] Kajganich described the story to reflect contemporary times, saying, "You just have to look around our world today to see that power inspires nothing more than the desire to retain it and to eliminate anything that threatens it." The screenwriter said that the story was set in Washington, D.C. to reflect the theme.[6] In August, Daniel Craig was cast opposite Kidman in the lead.[7] The film, whose original title Invasion of the Body Snatchers was shortened to Invasion due to Kajganich's different concept, was changed once more to The Visiting so it would not be confused with ABC's TV series Invasion.[8]


Filming began on September 26, 2005 in Baltimore and lasted 45 days.[9] The film had minimal visual effects, with no need for greenscreen work. Instead, the director shot from odd camera angles and claustrophobic spaces to increase tension in the film.[10] In October 2006, The Visiting changed to the title of The Invasion, due to the cancellation of the ABC TV series.[11] The studio, however, was unhappy with Hirschbiegel's results and hired The Wachowskis to rewrite the film and assist with additional shooting.[1] The studio later hired director James McTeigue to perform re-shoots that would cost $10 million,[12] an uncredited duty by McTeigue.[13] After 13 months of inactivity, re-shoots took place in January 2007 to increase action scenes and add a twist ending.[14] The re-shoot lasted for 17 days in Los Angeles.[1] During the re-shooting, Kidman was involved in an accident, while in a Jaguar that was being towed by a stunt driver and was taken to a hospital briefly.[15] Kidman broke several ribs, but she was able to get back to work soon after being hospitalized.[16]

Musical score[edit]

In May 2007, composer John Ottman recorded the musical score for The Invasion, using heavy synthesizers combined with a 77-piece orchestra intended to create "otherworldly foreboding and tension". The music was also designed to have an avant-garde postmodern style, with atmospheric and thrilling action elements.[17]


The Invasion was originally intended to be released in June 2006,[18] but it was postponed to 2007.[11] The film was released on August 17, 2007 in the United States and Canada in 2,776 theaters. The film grossed $5,951,409 over the opening weekend. The Invasion has grossed $15,074,191 in the United States and Canada and $24,727,542 in other territories for a worldwide gross of $40,170,558 as of 9 March 2008.[2]

The music in the trailer is called "Untitled 8 (a.k.a. "Popplagið")" by Sigur Rós.

Critical response[edit]

The film received generally negative reviews. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, The Invasion rates 19%.[19] The critical consensus reads: "The Invasion is slickly made, but it lacks psychological insight and thrills." On review aggregator Metacritic, The Invasion received an average score of 45 out of 100.[20]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times called it "the fourth, and the least, of the movies made from Jack Finney's classic science fiction novel."[21] Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly wrote that it was "a soulless rehash...The movie isn't terrible; it's just low-rent and reductive."[22] Joanne Kaufman of The Wall Street Journal added, "With all the shoot-outs, the screaming, the chases, collisions and fireballs, there isn't much time for storytelling."[23]

Manohla Dargis of The New York Times criticized the film, writing: "The latest and lamest version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers might have been an accidental camp classic if its politics weren't so abhorrent and the movie didn't try to hide its ineptitude behind a veil of pomposity."[24] Paul Arendt of the BBC wrote: "Having established an effectively creepy mood in the first half, the film eventually degenerates into a muddled mess, with Nicole and Daniel Craig dodging zombies while popping amphetamines in a desperate effort to stay awake. We know how they feel."[25] Maitland McDonagh of TV Guide called the film "a frantic mess that opens with a scene plucked from the film's third act that smacks of having been moved up to pacify audiences too restless for a slow build."[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Sperling, Nicole; Spines, Christine (August 10, 2007). "Hidden 'Invasion'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 18, 2007. 
  2. ^ a b c "The Invasion (2007)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 21, 2007. 
  3. ^ Cathy Dunkley (March 25, 2004). "Scribe warms to WB's 'Body'". Variety. Retrieved April 28, 2007. 
  4. ^ "Body Snatchers Get a Director". July 15, 2005. Retrieved April 28, 2007. 
  5. ^ Fleming, Michael; Brodesser, Claude (August 1, 2005). "WB unearths 'Invasion'". Variety. Retrieved April 28, 2007. 
  6. ^ Cheong, Felix (September 14, 2007). "Remaking the Remake". Today. Retrieved October 5, 2007. 
  7. ^ McClintock, Pamela (August 18, 2005). "Craig plans for 'Invasion'". Variety. Retrieved April 28, 2007. 
  8. ^ McClintock, Pamela (October 9, 2005). "'Invasion' title snatched". Variety. Retrieved April 28, 2007. 
  9. ^ Kaltenbech, Chris (September 24, 2005). "'Invasion,' downgraded to a 'Visiting,' will hit city". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved April 28, 2007. 
  10. ^ Wloszczyna, Susan (January 11, 2006). "Paranoia gets revisited in 'The Visiting'". USA Today. Retrieved April 28, 2007. 
  11. ^ a b McClintock, Pamela (October 15, 2006). "The 'Invasion' is back on again". Variety. Retrieved April 28, 2007. 
  12. ^ Goldstein, Patrick (March 7, 2007). "Success and Failure Can Cross Hollywood Border". Los Angeles Times. 
  13. ^ Fleming, Michael (June 26, 2007). "McTeigue to get Thai'd up in 'Bangkok'". Variety. Retrieved July 7, 2007. 
  14. ^ "August 17 – The Invasion". Entertainment Weekly. May 4, 2007. 
  15. ^ Associated Press (January 25, 2007). "Kidman in Crash on The Invasion Set". Retrieved April 28, 2007. 
  16. ^ Lee, Patrick (August 14, 2007). "Kidman Talks Invasion Injuries". Sci Fi Wire. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved August 14, 2007. 
  17. ^ Dan Goldwasser (May 25, 2007). "John Ottman scores The Invasion". SoundtrackNet. Retrieved May 9, 2007. 
  18. ^ Wloszczyna, Susan (November 17, 2005). "Kidman happily visits while filming 'Visiting'". USA Today. Retrieved April 28, 2007. 
  19. ^ "The Invasion". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 27, 2011. 
  20. ^ "Invasion, The (2007): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 27, 2011. 
  21. ^ Ebert, Roger (August 17, 2007). "The Invasion". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved May 3, 2018. 
  22. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (August 15, 2007). "Review: The Invasion". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 3, 2018. 
  23. ^ "The Invasion". The Wall Street Journal. August 17, 2007. Retrieved May 3, 2018.  closed access publication – behind paywall
  24. ^ Dargis, Manohla (August 17, 2007). "Review - The Invasion". The New York Times. Retrieved May 3, 2018. 
  25. ^ Arendt, Paul (October 5, 2007). "The Invasion (2007)". BBC. Retrieved May 3, 2018. 
  26. ^ McDonagh, Maitland. "The Invasion". TV Guide. Retrieved May 3, 2018. 

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