Invasion Of The Body Snatchers is undoubtedly one of the most iconic stories in science fiction, which is perhaps why it’s been resurrected in cinema on a semi-regular basis. Since the first version of the tale arrived in theatres in 1956, we’ve seen a further three takes on that same narrative – some attempting to apply the social concerns of the time to the themes explored in the story. Now, we have a fifth heading our way, and this one comes from Warner Bros.
The source material is the 1955 novel The Body Snatchers, by Jack Finney – which began life as a serial published in Colliers Magazine in 1954. For those unfamiliar, the story sees alien seeds drift to Earth through space, and grow emotionally void clones of unsuspecting town residents while they sleep. The residents are then turned to dust, and the clones replace them in their community. The clones do not reproduce, and expire after five years, so this sinister, malevolent, creeping presence threatens to leave the Earth a dead planet, while humanity is potentially doomed.
Adaptations of The Body Snatchers have varied wildly in quality, with the 1978 Invasion Of The Body Snatchers – starring Donald Sutherland – having been the most critically acclaimed to date. A 1993 version, titled Body Snatchers and directed by Abel Ferrara, essentially sank without a trace, while the high profile The Invasion of 2007 – starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig – was roundly panned and derided upon release.
Now, Warner Bros. has set producer John Davis (I, Robot, AVP: Alien Vs Predator, Chronicle, The Man From U.N.C.L.E) to deliver a new version of this classic science fiction story, with David Leslie Johnson (Orphan, Wrath Of The Titans, The Conjuring 2) writing the adapted screenplay. With its themes of paranoia, suspicion, and conspiracy, the new film should match its first two versions in terms of relating those threads to current issues, but it will be the yet-to-be-determined director that really determines the atmosphere this project will try to create. It’s that announcement which we’ll now be keenly watching for, as we steel ourselves for yet another Invasion Of The Body Snatchers.