The Boov Cou­ple

Antz man puts a new spin on alien in­va­sions

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert -

With cine­mas dom­i­nated by end­less se­quels and re­boots, Dream­Works’ Tim John­son be­lieves that con­tem­po­rary sci- fi has lost its way. De­scrib­ing it as “the first post- apoc­a­lyp­tic/ alien in­va­sion/ buddy com­edy/ road trip an­i­mated movie,” the direc­tor ad­dresses that ap­par­ent lack of cre­ativ­ity with his lat­est film, Home.

“I’m a huge science fic­tion nut and one of the things that I think is turn­ing into a lit­tle bit of a cri­sis is that it’s be­gin­ning to im­i­tate it­self a lot,” he tells Red Alert. “What’s been so ex­cit­ing about this project is that we’re try­ing to have a bit of un­ex­pected fun with all th­ese sci- fi tropes that we all take for granted. My first state­ment to the whole crew was ‘ No laser beams!’ and from the start we tried to re­ally have fun with the con­ven­tions of sci- fi but passed through a very hu­mor­ous fil­ter.”

Based on Adam Rex’s novel The True Mean­ing Of Smek­day, Home cen­tres around young Gra­tu­ity “Tip” Tucci ( voiced by Ri­hanna), who forms an un­likely bond with a rene­gade alien who goes by the name of Oh ( The Big Bang The­ory’s Jim Par­sons). “In the movie, they have a re­ally pro­found friend­ship,” ex­plains John­son. “They begin at odds and then find a lot of truth from one an­other.”

Ac­cord­ing to John­son, Home is one of those rare oc­ca­sions where you get to see an alien in­va­sion from the aliens’ point of view. “That works es­pe­cially well with a hu­mor­ous kind of at­ti­tude where they look at Earth and go, ‘ We’re so much more so­phis­ti­cated and ad­vanced than them, so we’re go­ing to make their lives so much bet­ter. Lucky hu­mans!’”

Ad­mit­ting that “I’d like our ver­sion of this guy to sit on my desk”, the dis­tinc­tive look of Oh and his fel­low mem­bers of the Boov race was in­spired by the nu­mer­ous vinyl toys that John­son saw at Comic- Con. Hav­ing worked to­gether on Antz, Steven Spiel­berg ’s ex­trater­res­trial films were an­other ref­er­ence point. “One of the first things we did was to watch sev­eral im­por­tant sci- fi films, start­ing with ET, but also in­clud­ing more hard­core ver­sions of an alien in­va­sion with War Of The Worlds,” he re­veals. “I also went back to some favourites from my canon like The Day The Earth Stood Still, which has some of the most el­e­gant de­sign with the in­te­rior of that space­ship. I would love our movie to be watched 50 years from now and for the tech­nol­ogy to still feel just as vi­tal.”

Home is in cine­mas from Fri­day 20 March.

Home shows an alien in­va­sion from the aliens’ point of view.

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