Apple’s Invasion sci-fi series starring Sam Neill begins filming in Manchester

The series has been compared to War of the Worlds and is back filming globally.

Sam Neill

Production has resumed in Manchester on alien thriller series Invasion, starring Sam Neill, one of the biggest productions yet from streaming network AppleTV+.


Invasion is set in four locations on four continents – Manchester, New York, Morocco and Japan – and pre-production had just started in the British location in March when the COVID-19 shutdown struck.

Invasion covers events that take place after aliens invade Earth and will be told in multiple perspectives, hence the four locations. It has been compared to War of the Worlds within the industry.

The versatile star Neill will play Sheriff John Bell Tyson, a worn and weathered rural law enforcer on the verge of retirement in the States. Co-starring with the Jurassic Park actor is Shamier Anderson (Bruised, Awake), who plays a US soldier, Trevante Ward, stationed in Afghanistan. Golshifteh Farahani (Extraction, Parterson) is Aneesha Malik, a Syrian immigrant, wife and mother living in Long Island. Firas Nassar (Fauda) plays Ahmed Malik, her husband, a Syrian immigrant and businessman. Shiola Katsuna (Deadpool 2, The Outside) appears as Mitsuki, a member of mission control in Japan’s space programme JASA.

The Fall director Jakob Verbruggen will direct and executive produce the series.

It’s not known what the budget is for Invasion, but according to Deadline, it is one of AppleTV+’s most ambitious series to date.

Invasion has been created by two of the busiest writer/producers in the US. Simon Kinberg is also writing the untitled Africa-set Idris Elba spy movie, as well as the Jason Bateman heist series Here Comes the Flood and he’s producing another film Chairman Spaceman. David Weil produced this year’s Al Pacino Nazi-hunting series, Hunters, and has an overall deal with Amazon Studios.

It’s not yet clear when Invasion is scheduled for streaming on AppleTV+.

Apple TV+ is available on the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac, select Samsung and LG smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices, as well as at, for £4.99 per month with a seven-day free trial.


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