Saying Invasion Planet Earth has been a passion project for British filmmaker Simon Cox is somewhat of an understatement, it’s taken him nearly 20 years from beginning to end, taking in over over 100 producers and patrons but it’s finally getting a UK cinema release on 5th December with a follow-up digital release on 16th December.
Originally titled Kaleidoscope Man, Simon Cox directed, co-wrote, edited, as well as supervised and produced the VFX. Inspired by Sci-fi classics such as Star Wars, he began working on the film in the 90s, spending six years filming including a spectacular scene in Central Birmingham where 900 extras turned up, in an epic, War of the Worlds style battle scene.
After the death of his young daughter, Tom Dunn is a broken man. When his wife falls pregnant again, he cannot believe their luck. However, his joy is short lived, as on the very same day, the people of Earth become plagued with terrifying visions of the end of the world. When a gigantic, all-consuming alien mothership appears in the sky and launches a ruthless attack on Earth’s cities, chaos and destruction follow!
After years of pitching to the UK film industry and private investors, a small amount of money was raised which Simon used to produce a pilot and for concept art to be created. However, it soon became apparent that funding this movie in what was then, the traditional way, was not going to happen. In 2012, Simon took the bold decision to crowdfund the film using social media.
It took two years and seven campaigns for Simon and his team to raise a significant amount of money which enabled them to shoot around a third of the movie. Simon then found some investors who financed the rest of the movie. However, this took time and once the live action scenes were finally shot, the special effects took another two and a half years to complete. In total, the movie was in production for seven years with ten years before that in development. Such was the multitude of generous donors and patrons of this project; the film lists over 100 producers on IMDb!
Matt Allsopp (Godzilla, Rogue One) provided original concept art for the film and Invasion Planet Earth also includes an end title song by Toyah Willcox (Quadrophenia) who also stars. Both Munro Films and Lightbulb Film distribution were delighted to be releasing this testament to independent British filmmaking, Munro Film’s managing director, Frank Smith had this to say:
“Simon Cox had the vision and drive to make the kind of film he and sci-fi fans want to see. It’s the ultimate nostalgic homage and very effective. There’s a clear fanbase, and Simon should also be applauded for engaging a community of fans for the film over the years, many of whom featured as extras in crowd scenes. They, along with sci-fi fans across the UK can now enjoy Invasion Planet Earth and we are very happy about that.”
Lightbulb’s Commercial Director, Matthew Kreuzer, added:
“We’re absolutely thrilled to be releasing Invasion Planet Earth. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed working on this film for the past few months with Simon and his team. What he has created over the past 20 years is a fantastic action / sci-fi film with a nod to the sci-fi programmes we used to watch in the 70’s and 80’s (Dr Who, Blake’s 7, Space 1999 and Buck Rogers). It has such a cool retro feel about it and yet he has combined this with strong CGI elements, bringing it up to the modern day.”