In the new action-thriller Bushwick, Brittany Snow (Pitch Perfect) plays a character named Lucy who emerges from a Brooklyn subway to discover her neighborhood is under attack by black-clad soldiers. Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy) is an ex-Marine named Stupe who reluctantly helps her survive the onslaught. The twist in this film action-thriller? The onscreen mayhem is the result of an attempt by Texas to secede from the United States of America.

“The premise is Texas has invaded New York City,” says Bushwick producer Adam Folk, of Bullet Pictures. “It’s part of a larger coalition of southern states that are invading several northern states to start, essentially, a modern-day civil war. Lucy comes out of the subway and — boom! — there’s an invasion. As she tries to survive and hide, she meets Stupe, who is now a janitor, and he reluctantly ends up helping her.”

Bushwick is written by Graham Reznick and Nick Damici and directed by Cooties filmmakers Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion. “This was an idea Cary and Jon had,” says Folk’s fellow producer Nate Bolotin, of XYZ Films. “At the time they directed Cooties, we were still trying to get Bushwick off the ground, both from a story and a finance standpoint — which actually was a blessing in disguise. The film is obviously timelier now than it would have been three or four years ago.”

Folk admits it has been a strange experience producing a film about an attempt to split up America at a time when the country seems particularly divided in real life. “It’s kind of sad that it’s got closer to what this movie was really trying to send up, in a way,” he says. “I mean, we never really thought that we’d get closer to this as a reality.”

Bushwick costars Angelic Zambrana, Jeremie Harris, Myra Lucretia Taylor, Alex Breaux, and Arturo Castro, and is also produced by Joseph Mensch.

Watch an expletives-featuring clip from Bushwick, which receives its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 21, above.