Civil War 2024 Director Addresses If the Movie Is 'Programming' Americans for Upcoming War

By Russ Milheim Posted:
Nick Offerman in Cibil War movie

The director of A24’s upcoming epic 2024 film, Civil War, offered his thoughts about whether his new project is programming Americans for real war.

The premise for his latest film follows a group of war journalists who journey across a war-torn United States in an attempt to get one last interview with the President before the rebellion makes its way through DC and kills him.

Given the intense societal divide within the United States, especially between political parties like Democrats and Republicans, many do not think such a drastic outcome is too far from reality. Because of that, some have voiced their thoughts on how Civil War is meant to prepare Americans for such a conflict.

Is A24’s Civil War Preparing America for an Actual Conflict?

Nick Offerman as The President in Civil War

In an interview with Total Film, Civil War director Alex Garland commented on the widespread conspiracy theory that his 2024 movie is predictive programming meant to prepare American citizens for an actual Civil War.

With a handful of sighs, Garland made it clear he does not have much patience for conspiracy theories like that, noting how "[he is] pretty sure you could guess what [he] think[s] about it:"

"I’m pretty sure you could guess what I think about it [sigh]... Concepts like predictive programming just never [sighs]… The BBC doesn’t do a lot of stories on predictive programming. But then I imagine that someone who believes in the concept of predictive programming would say, 'Well, of course that’s what he would say. Nice cover story, pal.'"

As for dealing with any backlash he might face for the sensitive topics and ideas presented through the lens of a fictional civil war, the director explained how he cannot dwell on all of that too much for fear of it "[stopping him] having an opinion:"

"One of the underlying rules to my job is that you should not think about that thing you just said too much because it will stop you doing stuff... It could really stop you having an opinion, and I don’t know if it’s good for people who are writing novels or plays or films to remove all opinions, unless they are super-confident that the opinion is safe. That just doesn’t seem like a good space for any of us to be in."

The third act of the movie sees the Western Forces (basically known as the rebellion against the current United States leadership) storming Washington DC. For those who know recent events in US history, that notion will feel reminiscent of the real-life events on January 6, 2021, when an angry mob attacked the Capital building.

While many might consider the plot point in Civil War to be prescient, Garland assures that was not the case:

"If you just teleport yourself back, you realize it’s not prescient. That is what people were worried about. So when I saw those images [on TV], I was not, at that moment, thinking about the film. I was thinking, 'Oh, shit, this looks really bad.'"

At the end of the day, the director wants his movie to start conversations amongst audiences, in a similar way to how filmmaker Alan J Pakula did for films such as All the President's Men and The Parallax View:

"They were called paranoid conspiracy thrillers…and they would tap into something real that people were feeling at that moment. You’re left with something thoughtful. But they were also a great thriller with Faye Dunaway or Warren Beatty or whoever it happened to be."

Starting a Conversation About Civil War

There is no doubt that Civil War will start a conversation among audiences. When one makes a film depicting the United States in an all-out war, at the scale of A24’s latest movie, there is no way to avoid it.

Given how sensitive a topic the turmoil and divide within the United States can be, it’ll no doubt be met with some pushback.

However, the film itself does make sure to stay vague on many of the details as to why the war itself is happening, likely to avoid even harsher feedback. However, some might see that as a fear of taking risks, which in turn avoids saying something even more profound with the film.

Either way, audiences should make sure to see the provocative film either way to form their own thoughts on A24’s newest outing when Civil War lands in theaters on Friday, April 12, 2024.

Dive into these other A24 films:

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- In This Article: Civil War
Release Date
April 12, 2024
Jesse Plemons
Kirsten Dunst
Nick Offerman
- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.