After the space shuttle Patriot crashes on Earth, a fungus-like alien lifeform is discovered on the remaining parts scattered over US territory. Once people come into contact with the organism, they are controlled by it when they enter REM sleep. One of the first people infected is Tucker Kaufman, a CDC director investigating the crash.
Tucker's ex-wife, psychiatrist Carol Bennell, begins to feel something is amiss when people seem to have "changed". Her patient Wendy Lenk describes how her husband "is not her husband", and one of her son's friends acts detached and emotionless. At a neighborhood Halloween party, Carol's son Oliver finds a "skin" on a partier which is initially believed to be costume make-up. Carol speculates that the skin may be an organism connected to reports of a fast-spreading flu. Carol takes the organism to her doctor friend Ben Driscoll to have it checked. Carol attends a friendly dinner meeting between Russian diplomat Yorish and Czechoslovakian diplomat Belicec (along with female companion Luddie) and discusses her post-modern feminism views over caviar and champagne. Meanwhile, Tucker uses the CDC to spread the disease further, disguising the spores as flu vaccine.
Ben and Dr. Stephen Galeano, a biologist, discover how the spore takes over the brain during REM sleep. During this investigation Luddie calls Ben, worried about Yorish's behavior. Driscoll and Galeano also find that people who had brain affecting illnesses, such as encephalitis or ADEM, are immune to the spore because their previous illnesses prevents the spore from "latching on" to the brain matter. Carol's son, Oliver, is immune to the spore because of the ADEM he had as a young child. Carol decides to get her son, who might show a way to a cure, back from Tucker. Before she drives to Tucker's house, she joins Ben's team who is called to the house of the Belicecs, the Czech ambassador and his wife, in a case of emergency. There they witness the transformation of Yorish, the Russian ambassador and the Belicecs' friend.
When Carol arrives at Tucker's house, he and several colleagues close in on her. He explains that the changed humans, devoid of irrational emotions, are offering a better world, and asks her to join them. When Carol resists, he holds her to the ground and infects her by spurting his saliva on her. She escapes and returns to Ben at the Belicecs' house. They flee when Belicec returns with more transformed people intent on infecting anyone in the house. Galaneo and one of his assistants head to a base outside Baltimore where they and other scientists attempt to find a cure for the alien virus. Carol and Ben separate to find Oliver, who texts his location, the apartment of Tucker's mother, to Carol.
Finally Ben arrives, but Carol realizes that he too has become one of the infected. He successfully seduces her to give in to the new society, but also frankly states that there is no room for people like Oliver who are immune. Carol shoots Ben in the leg and flees with Oliver. She is picked up by helicopter and flies to the center preparing the inoculations. In time, the alien virus is reversed and society reverts to its violent ways.Nicole Kidman as Dr. Carol Bennell
Daniel Craig as Dr. Ben Driscoll
Jeremy Northam as Tucker Kaufman
Jackson Bond as Oliver
Jeffrey Wright as Dr. Stephen Galeano
Veronica Cartwright as Wendy Lenk
Josef Sommer as Dr. Henryk Belicec
Celia Weston as Ludmilla Belicec
Roger Rees as Yorish Kagonavich
Eric Benjamin as Gene
Susan Floyd as Pam
Stephanie Berry as Carly
Alexis Raben as Jill
Adam LeFevre as Richard Lenk
Joanna Merlin as Joan Kaufman
Malin Åkerman as Autumn (uncredited)
Jeff Wincott as Transit Cop
In March 2004, Warner Bros. hired screenwriter David Kajganich to write a script that would serve as a remake of the 1956 science fiction film Invasion of the Body Snatchers. In July 2005, director Oliver Hirschbiegel was attached to helm the project, with production to begin in Edgemere, MD. The following August, Nicole Kidman was cast to star in the film then titled Invasion, receiving a salary of close to $17 million. Invasion was based on the script by Kajganich, originally intended as a remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but Kajganich crafted a different enough story for the studio to see the project as an original conception. Kajganich described the story to reflect contemporary times, saying, "You just have to look around our world today to see that power inspires nothing more than the desire to retain it and to eliminate anything that threatens it." The screenwriter said that the story was set in Washington, D.C. to reflect the theme. In August, Daniel Craig was cast opposite Kidman in the lead. The film, whose original title Invasion of the Body Snatchers was shortened to Invasion due to Kajganich's different concept, was changed once more to The Visiting so it would not be confused with ABC's TV series Invasion.
Filming began on September 26, 2005 in Baltimore and lasted 45 days. The film had minimal visual effects, with no need for greenscreen work. Instead, the director shot from odd camera angles and claustrophobic spaces to increase tension in the film. In October 2006, The Visiting changed to the title of The Invasion, due to the cancellation of the ABC TV series. The studio, however, was unhappy with Hirschbiegel's results and hired The Wachowskis to rewrite the film and assist with additional shooting. The studio later hired director James McTeigue to perform re-shoots that would cost $10 million, an uncredited duty by McTeigue. After 13 months of inactivity, re-shoots took place in January 2007 to increase action scenes and add a twist ending. The re-shoot lasted for 17 days in Los Angeles. During the re-shooting, Kidman was involved in an accident, while in a Jaguar that was being towed by a stunt driver and was taken to a hospital briefly. Kidman broke several ribs, but she was able to get back to work soon after being hospitalized.
In May 2007, composer John Ottman recorded the musical score for The Invasion, using heavy synthesizers combined with a 77-piece orchestra intended to create "otherworldly foreboding and tension". The music was also designed to have an avant-garde postmodern style, with atmospheric and thrilling action elements.
The Invasion was originally intended to be released in June 2006, but it was postponed to 2007. The film was released on August 17, 2007 in the United States and Canada in 2,776 theaters. The film grossed $5,951,409 over the opening weekend. The Invasion has grossed $15,074,191 in the United States and Canada and $24,727,542 in other territories for a worldwide gross of $40,170,558 as of 9 March 2008.
The music in the trailer is called "Untitled 8 (a.k.a. "Popplagið")" by Sigur Rós.
The film received generally negative reviews. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, The Invasion rates 19%. On review aggregator Metacritic, The Invasion received an average score of 45 out of 100.
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times called it "the fourth, and the least, of the movies made from Jack Finney's classic science fiction novel." Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly wrote that it was "a soulless rehash...The movie isn't terrible; it's just low-rent and reductive." Joanne Kaufman of The Wall Street Journal added, "With all the shoot-outs, the screaming, the chases, collisions and fireballs, there isn't much time for storytelling."