There have been countless different approaches to the alien invasion story, from sci-fi epics like Independence Day and Close Encounters of the Third Kind to more personal cultural and political commentaries like USA’s Colony. Director Rupert Wyatt, perhaps best known for his work on Rise of the Planet of the Apes, opted for the latter with his new film Captive State, which is set in Chicago nearly a decade after militarized aliens occupied America and tells the story of both those who are for and against the extra-terrestrial forces.
Wyatt, who co-wrote the story with his wife Erica Beeney, knew they wanted to tell a more modern, timely story through the lens of science fiction. The origin of Captive State was the idea of exploring the stories both the collaborators and dissidents on both sides of an occupied state. But Wyatt and Beeney opted not to go the route of a historical drama (which, coincidentally, he already directed in the pilot of AMC’s Turn: Washington’s Spies) and instead looked to the near future and “create this idea of we’re putting a documentary film crew into the future and we’re under occupation by an alien life form.”