What would compel mankind to completely surrender to an invading alien army? This is the premise of the upcoming science-fiction thriller film Captive State, the latest film from Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt.
Captive State opens approximately nine years after such an invasion resulted in global alien domination. The result is a new alien government, called The Legislature, which rules over all mankind. “We purposely chose to start our story after the invasion and surrender itself and get away from the well-trodden alien invasion,” says Wyatt, who co-wrote the script with his wife, Erica Beeney. “That said, for own purposes, we needed to have a very coherent and plausible back-story upon which to build what came after.”
The United States that appears in Captive State is anything but the land of the free. “The legislature consists of the alien occupiers who take up their position of oversight in every major city under occupation,” says Wyatt. “Kind of like the green zone of Baghdad, they’ve sequestered themselves behind walls and, in keeping with their species origin, below ground.”
In the film, the human population is starkly divided, consisting of cooperators and dissidents. John Goodman stars as Mulligan, a former police officer who has agreed to help the alien government execute its plans. “John and I built this character as a kind of unmade bed of a man who was once on the side of right but has gradually unraveled,” says Wyatt. “Nine years of collaboration, working in a corrupt and venal system, enacting the law of a regime, weighs heavy, and the only way he can block out the bad things he does, the levels of violence he’s witnessed, is through the work itself.”
The alien invaders have given the human race a simple choice: cooperate or be annihilated. Any human who refuses to join the alien cause is labeled a terrorist. “That’s synonymous with any authoritarian regime that’s unwilling to tolerate criticism or protest,” says Wyatt. “Even though we refer to peaceful protests taking place in the early days of the regime, our dissenters are now militants using violent means to fight back. That, of course, makes them terrorists in the eyes of the authorities—both alien and human.”
Captive State arrives in theaters on March 15, 2019.