Aliens invade earth with the promise of Utopian peace. Humanity falls under an authoritarian reign. Humanity fights back when they realize Utopia is bullshit. It’s a sci-fi tale as old as time, and it’s getting a slick new update from Rise of the Planet of the Apes and The Gambler director Rupert Wyatt with the new Focus Features thriller Captive State.
Set almost ten years after the planet is occupied by an alien life force, Captive State takes a socio-political approach to the sci-fi trappings, exploring the lives of people across the ranks of collaborators and dissidents of the extraterrestrial threat. The teaser trailer serves up some Childhood’s End/The Giver vibes with a big budget cinematic sheen that makes me excited to see what Wyatt can bring to the false Utopia subgenre. His eye for sci-fi helped relaunch the Planet of the Apes franchise by putting the focus character and emotion over spectacle, and that makes me instantly excited to see what else he does in the genre sphere.
The only thing Wyatt has going against him is the fact that this is such a well-trod sci-fi with a lot of classics in the fold already — can he find a way to find something new to say about surveillance states and the fight for liberty under authoritarian reign? Here’s hoping! It’s certainly not like the themes have gone out of style.
Written by Wyatt and Erica Beeney (The Battle of Shaker Heighs), Captive State stars John Goodman, Vera Farmiga, Ashton Sanders, Jonathan Majors and Colson Baker, and arrives in theaters on March 29, 2019. Watch the teaser trailer below.
Here’s the official logline for Captive State:
“Set in a Chicago neighborhood nearly a decade after an occupation by an extra-terrestrial force, “Captive State” explores the lives on both sides of the conflict – the collaborators and dissidents.”