A lot of ambitious sci-fi is heading to Apple TV Plus. With season two of See currently underway and upcoming projects like Isaac Asimov’s Foundation and the Tom Hanks–starring dystopian future feature film Finch, 2021 is full of big projects for the Apple streamer. And now you can add Invasion to that impressive list.
The alien invasion series is set against a global backdrop, and with a massive budget and stunning visual effects, it’s likely to be a big hit when it premieres later this year.
So, read on for everything we know about Invasion on Apple TV Plus, from what it’s about, to when and where to watch, to who’s in it, and more.
And if you’re not already an Apple TV Plus subscriber, you can click the link below to sign up before Invasion premieres.
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What is Invasion about?
Invasion will follow a diverse group of (human) people as they come to terms with an alien invasion. Beyond that, very little is know about the plot of the alien invasion series.
As Apple describes it, “Invasion is a sweeping, character-driven science fiction drama series that follows an alien invasion through different perspectives around the world.”
Among the human cast of characters are astronauts and a ground crew in Japan, an American sheriff, and a soldier stationed in Afghanistan. Based on early reports, we also know the alien invasion series will follow a Syrian family in Long Island.
While the invasion itself remains somewhat mysterious, a TV news chyron seen in the trailer reads, “Unconfirmed reports of coordinated attacks,” and we see huge damage done to various cities and spaceships, suggesting contact with the aliens is not peaceful.
“There’s a reason we’re put on this earth. One purpose to everything,” a voice also says. “Something bigger.” That one purpose is now revealing itself, the trailer suggests, blending faith and spirituality into the narrative. “Maybe this is the point, the point to all of this.”
When and where can you watch it?
Invasion will premiere globally on Apple TV Plus October 22.
The first three episodes will premiere at once on that date, as is usual for new Apple TV Plus Originals. And the remaining seven episodes of the 10-episode season will rollout weekly on Fridays thereafter.
Check out: How Apple TV Plus became a streaming heavy hitter
No word yet on whether Apple has plans for a second season, but they’ve invested a lot so far.
The Invasion budget is estimated at $200 million.
Invasion joins other high-profile sci-fi Apple series like the upcoming Foundation, which launches in September. With huge budgets (Invasion’s price tag is estimated at $200 million), it seems like Apple is making a major play for new subscribers by appealing to genre fans.
Invasion will star a global cast, befitting its international premise. The main actors and the characters they play are as follows:
- Sam Neill as Sheriff John Bell Tyson, a rural cop ready for retirement.
- Shamier Anderson as Trevante Ward, a soldier stationed in Afghanistan.
- Golshifteh Farahani as Aneesha Malik, a wife, mother, and Syrian immigrant living in Long Island.
- Firas Nassar as Ahmed Malik, Aneesha’s businessman husband.
- Shioli Kutsuna as Mitsuki, a member of mission control at Japan’s space program.
Simon Kinberg and David Weil created and wrote the series. They appear to serve as showrunners, though Apple has not explicitly named them as such.
Kinberg is perhaps best known for his work on Fox’s X-Men films, including directing 2019’s Dark Phoenix. And Weil is credited as showrunner of Amazon series Solos and Hunters.
Invasion executive producers are Kinberg and Weil, along with Jakob Verbruggen, Audrey Chon, Amy Kaufman, Elisa Ellis, Andrew Baldwin, and Katie O’Connell Marsh.
Jakob Verbruggen directed the pilot episode, which was originally set to be directed by Kinberg, but he was pulled away by other projects.
Boat Rocker Studios produced the alien invasion series for Apple.
Chad Feehan was briefly involved as showrunner, reportedly “out of necessity,” but he exited the project early on in 2019.
How COVID-19 impacted Invasion
Production on Invasion was set to begin in March 2020, following a few delays.
As the COVID-19 pandemic developed, lockdown orders and production shutdowns inevitably affected Invasion via its many international shooting locations. Filming had to be put on hold at that time, as the world grappled with health risks du to the spread of the virus.
Invasion joins a huge number of shows that had to postpone production due to the pandemic. These include HBO Max‘s Gossip Girl, Hulu‘s The Handmaid’s Tale, Netflix‘s Grace & Frankie, FX’s Y: The Last Man, and many more.
While we don’t have tons of information about Invasion, the series trailer does offer up a few important tidbits. And combined with official statements and rumors, that gives us a fair bit to go on.
Here are a few hints, rumors, and open questions surrounding the alien invasion series:
- Early reports suggest strong parallels between Invasion and the H.G. Wells classic War of the Worlds. The focus on different global perspectives could align the series with M. Night Shyamalan‘s Signs, which similarly told a story almost identical to War of the Worlds from the intimate perspective of a family living in rural Pennsylvania.
- With the exception of a brief glimpse of what looks like an alien spaceship, we don’t actually see the aliens invading earth. Close Encounters of the Third Kind famously kept its aliens offscreen for most of its runtime. Will Invasion do the same, or is Apple hoping to build a sense of mystery ahead of the series premiere?
- The title Invasion and the tagline “Hold onto your humanity” evoke the classic 1956 film Invasion of the Body Snatchers, remade most recently in 2007 as The Invasion. Will Invasion feature aliens who take over human bodies? Or does the reference to holding onto humanity refer to something else?
- The global scope of the Invasion series included plans to shoot on four continents, in the US, the UK, Japan, and Morocco. It’s unclear whether production was able to proceed entirely as planned in all four locations due to COVID-19. But some shooting definitely took place in New York, Morocco, and Manchester.
That’s what we know (and a few things we’re anxious to find out) about the Invasion series heading to Apple TV Plus in October.
Be sure to sign up for the service if you want to watch!