One of the most valid criticisms of blockbuster filmmaking is the increasing lack of originality on display, with sequels, reboots, remakes, rebootquels, requels, reimaginings, retreads, sidequels, and countless other buzzwords regularly taking precedence over fresh ideas. A lot of the time it works, though, something that most definitely cannot be said about 2007’s disastrous The Invasion.
Jack Finney’s 1955 novel The Body Snatchers had already been brought to the screen three times before in Don Siegel’s 1956 Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Philip Kaufman’s 1978 remake, and Abel Ferrara’s loose 1993 interpretation Body Snatchers, so nobody was really clamoring to see it again to begin with.
An yet, Warner Bros. funneled an estimated $80 million into the project, with star Nicole Kidman picking up a hefty $17 million salary for her troubles, while it marked Daniel Craig’s first onscreen appearance since he debuted as James Bond to widespread acclaim in Casino Royale the previous year.
The worst was being predicted for The Invasion long before it came to theaters, with original director Oliver Hirschbiegel effectively cast aside for reshoots that were written by the Wachowskis and directed by their protege James McTeigue, which occurred a full 13 months after shooting had first wrapped.
The Invasion finally released 23 months after the beginning of filming, where it promptly landed a 19% Rotten Tomatoes score and a meager box office take of $40 million, making all the extra effort rather pointless in the end. Despite such a terrible reputation, it’s somehow managed to become a sizeable hit on HBO Max this week, with FlixPatrol naming the forgotten disaster as the 12th most-watched title on the platform’s global charts.