The filmmakers saw the apocalyptic setting of Legion as an opportunity to explore larger themes within a highly entertaining action-horror film. While the film is not religious in nature, it does use elements of familiar narratives to tell its tale. "Whether you grew up in a religious home or not, we live in a society that has religion at its core," Stewart points out.
"The movie isn’t attempting to say anything about particular beliefs. It is about the idea of faith, using things that are familiar to us from Judeo-Christian ideology as a way to tell the story. No matter what your bent is philosophically, you can bring that to this movie."
If it seems provocative, that’s what Stewart intends. "The film pushes buttons and it’s meant to push buttons," he says. "I hope it’s somewhat controversial. In the end, it’s meant to be entertaining, but I hope it’s thought provoking as well. That’s what takes it out of the realm of the standard thriller."
The film’s characters represent a cross-section of America: A man on his way to a custody hearing for his child, a married couple struggling with their teenage daughter, a young woman about to have a baby she never wanted.
"The characters are surrounded by a comforting normalcy," says Stewart. "Then, layer by layer, those comforts are stripped away. The sense that everything is okay starts to dissipate. The TV goes out, then the radio.
"Something is happening, slowly but surely. A little old lady, a minivan family, the ice cream man all these very familiar things take on new significance. The world’s gotten a little sideways."
With his long-planned film ready to go into theaters, Lancaster wants to assure audiences that Legion delivers thrills up there with the best of its genre. "I love to make movies," says the producer.
"This one brings together more of the elements of drama and spectacle and production value than I’ve ever experienced. We’ve got great actors, plus visual effects and fight sequences and big action sequences with lots of moving parts and hundreds of extras.
"With all of the different elements that had to be combined, it was a particularly wonderful project for me."
Legion is released 5th March.
Tagged in Paul Bettany