What happens when aliens take control of the human race and everything we do? Well, in “Landscape With Invisible Hand,” we become the source of their entertainment under new world order.
Set years into the future, the sci-fi coming-of-age drama follows the “love story” of two teenagers, Adam and Chloe (Asante Blackk and Kylie Rogers), who get the bright idea to live stream their budding romance for their alien overlords called the Vuvv — who look more like awkward coffee table-sized creatures — to make some extra cash. But when their love fizzles out, the two are forced to make life-altering sacrifices that turn their worlds upside down.
“Landscape With Invisible Hand” is based on M.T. Anderson’s 2017 book of the same name, which tells the story of young artist Adam, who struggles to support his family after an alien invasion. The hopeful romance he then finds with Chloe sours when he invites her equally struggling family to move in with his. However, the teens are forced to keep up their relationship when the Vuvv call them out for lying to their stream viewers. They then hatch a plan that entangles their families’ lives with the Vuvv in the worst scenario imaginable.
The movie, which premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, sounds just as odd as it was to film, according to Rogers. In a Collider interview published on Feb. 3, the actor recalled getting her audition and reading a brief synopsis that she admitted was “kind of weird.” “It felt very odd, and then I got it, and then I spoke to [director] Cory [Finley] about the character and everything. I read the script and I mean, my initial thought was like, ‘I’ve never heard or read anything like this in my entire life,'” she said. “I was mainly excited because aliens, and I love sci-fi, and I was so excited to work with Cory, because I loved his previous work. But I don’t know, my previous thoughts were just like, ‘I’ve never seen anything like this in my life,’ and I was so excited.”
Finley, who also wrote the film’s script, described “Landscape With Invisible Hand”‘s plot as an “interesting riff on the alien invasion genre where the alien invasion is a fully economic one.” Of bringing the unique story (and the creatures) to the big screen, he added, “[W]e wanted to create something that preserved the kind of mystery of these creatures that the book pulls off so well, but also gives you something that feels very tactile and very real.”
Executive producers for “Landscape With Invisible Hand” include Anderson, Brad Pitt, Gabby Shepard, David Kern, Megan Ellison, and Tiffany Haddish — who also stars in the film. Read ahead for everything else we know about the upcoming movie, including when it premieres this summer.