Alex Garland: "I wrote Civil War before the storming of the Capitol"

Alex Garland: “I wrote Civil War before the storming of the Capitol”

The director assures that the timing of the release of his event film, in the middle of the American electoral campaign, is not linked to current events.

Originally a writer, Alex Garland started in cinema as a screenwriter with The beach (2000) by Danny Boyle, which he adapted from his first novel of the same name. In 2002, the duo did it again with 28 days later, establishing the British as an essential author in Hollywood. With the SF film Sunshine (2007), which tells the story of astronauts on a mission to reignite a dying Sun, they were less successful.

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In the 2010s, Alex Garland went behind the camera making three very inspired films: Ex Machina, Annihilation And Men. Without forgetting the brilliant series Devs. But with Civil War, his new production, he has clearly reached a milestone, signing the greatest success of his career as a filmmaker. This dystopia featuring a group of journalists immersed in a United States in the midst of a civil war grossed $25 million in its first weekend in North America, marking the biggest start in the history of the A24 studio ahead of Heredity.

This success is causing a lot of talk in the USA, while the electoral campaign for the next presidential election is already in full swing between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. With its president clinging to the White House at all costs in a country torn apart and on fire, Civil War resonates strongly with current events. In the new issue of Firstcurrently on newsstands, Alex Garland nevertheless explains to us that he did not write the screenplay in reaction to recent news.

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“The reasons for when a film is released are complex, and you have to be Spielberg or Nolan to have the final say on this sort of thing. But I can see how it all seems planned and intentional. But You should know that I wrote this film a long time ago, in June 2020, seven months before the assault on the Capitol. I would have liked to make it immediately but it was impossible because of the health protocols at the time. We finally shot it in 2022, and we had to wait another two years to finish it, because it's a film that requires a lot of visual effects. It's coming out now, in the spring, because it doesn't. couldn't come out last winter, which is reserved for Oscar films…”

Garland also had flair when releasingEx Machina. He already assured that there was nothing “prescient or “visionary in his job. Nothing prophetic. He repeats it about Civil War : “When I saw the images of the assault on the Capitol, when the film was already written, I didn't tell myself that I had been particularly inspired, because all that was already in the air. Besides, you may have reacted like me: you were shocked, but were you really surprised?

Comments collected by Frédéric Foubert

Civil Warstarring Kirsten Dunst, Wagner Moura and Cailee Spaeny, is currently in theaters

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