Atlas: Is ICN Based on a Real Organisation?

Image Credit: Beth Dubber/Netflix

Netflix’s ‘Atlas’ focuses on the war for the survival of humanity. Taking place in the near future, the story is set in a world where artificial intelligence has found a way to break barriers and wriggle its way out of the control of humans. Its leader, Harlan, launches a war on humanity and seems hell-bent on destroying them, no matter what it takes. We follow the events from the point of view of a woman named Atlas, who shares a deep history with Harlan, making the mission to destroy him much more personal to her. As much of a lone wolf as she prefers to be, Atlas knows that she cannot defeat the enemy alone. In fact, the whole of humanity has to come together for that, and this is where the International Coalition of Nations, aka ICN, comes into the picture. SPOILERS AHEAD

The International Coalition of Nations in Atlas is Entirely Fictional

‘Atlas’ is a fictional story based on the script by Leo Sardarian and Aron Eli Coleite and directed by Brad Peyton. The creators were focused on presenting the different sides of AI and how they can be the tools for both the good and the bad, depending on how they are used. The primary focus, however, was on the importance of trusting one another and understanding that, at the end of the day, we can’t do something alone. We will need each other’s support, and it is only when we stand together that we can defeat any enemy, no matter how powerful and undefeatable they might seem.

Image Credit: Ana Carballosa/Netflix

The first push towards this theme comes in the first few minutes of the movie, where a montage reveals how Harlan and his army of robots waged a war on humanity and led to the deaths of millions of people in the process. Just when it seems like humans have lost this war, they decide to stop fighting by themselves and decide to join forces against a common enemy. This leads to the creation of the ICN, which, when it begins to fight the enemy, finds immediate success. This continues until they have eventually gained the upper hand on the robots, forcing their leader to leave the planet and hide somewhere he will not be easily captured or killed.

While the ICN is not a real organization, it is clearly a reference to the United Nations, an organization that was formed in the aftermath of the Second World War, another thing that had a severe impact on humanity and resulted in the death of millions of people. The formation of the UN was to ensure that nothing of that sort happened again and that all of its member nations felt safe under its banner because they would all rise to support each other whenever things got tough.

The same approach is witnessed with ICN, which continues to work even after Harlan has been defeated. They don’t lapse once the enemy is gone but continue to work to make sure that their defenses are strong and that the next time the enemy is at their gates, they will face a threat as a united front.

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