Can’t wait for Severance season 2? This Zach Galifianakis movie is like a spiritual predecessor — just ignore its Rotten Tomatoes score

Still from the 2008 film Visioneers, showing star Zach Galifianakis in a sterile corporate office
(Image credit: Fireside Film / MaySide Film)

Can you believe it’s been over 800 days since a new episode of Apple TV Plus hit Severance first aired? 812, to be exact. And while the long-in-development second series of Severance has finally wrapped filming, the sci-fi-tinged show still hasn’t got an official release date.

So, what to do in the meantime? Though director Ben Stiller has promised a Severance season 2 release date announcement is only a few weeks away, I’ve been looking for something to scratch that workplace comedy itch. I think I’ve found the perfect appetizer. And no, I don’t mean another binge-watch of reruns of The Office.

I’m talking about Visioneers, a quirky 2008 comedy that feels so much like Severance, you’ll find it hard to believe the two aren’t related.

What is Visioneers?

Visioneers stars the ever-watchable Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover, Due Date) as George, a worker in a slightly dystopian near-future office for the Jeffers Corporation, the "largest, friendliest and most profitable business in the history of Mankind." George (full name George Washington Winsterhammerman) is a descendant of George Washington and works as a ‘Level-3 tunt’ employee, chasing an endless productivity goal in a windowless office doing work that seems as absurd as it is meaningless.

If George’s sad existence wasn’t enough, he’s got another thing to contend with. People around the country are spontaneously exploding. And it’s those with the biggest hopes and dreams that seem to be exploding first.

Still from the 2008 film Visioneers, showing star Zach Galifianakis in a sterile corporate office

(Image credit: Fireside Film / MaySide Film)

Enter a corporate mandate to wear a dream-inhibiting neckpiece, and you’ve got all the makings of a bizarre sci-fi drama, with Galifianakis’s trademark heart-broken goofiness carrying the laughs. “Productivity or death” is the Jeffers Corporation mantra — George will hope to escape both.

An inspiration for Severance?

Sound familiar? Visioneers is not only visually similar to Severance, with its stark small-scale office environments and sloganeering, overbearing corporate culture, but is tonally similar too. There’s an undercurrent of mystery to the laughs, and an omen-like melancholy directed at the excesses of climbing the corporate ladder.

Severance, we all know, is a stone-cold classic. But is Visioneers any good? Rotten Tomatoes critics have it at a shoulder-shrugging 69% — just the right side of fresh. And from my viewing, that’s about fair. Its workplace observations are more on the nose than Severance’s, its mystery less labyrinthine and its laughs more esoteric. But there’s a surreal quality to the film that gets under your skin and heartfelt performances to enjoy. I can’t help but think the overall premise feels very similar to Severance too, and would not be surprised if the Apple hit’s creative team took some inspiration from Visioneers, which could almost be a first draft or early blueprint for the streaming hit.

If you fancy giving it a go, you’re able to watch Visioneers for free via the Plex or Tubi streaming apps, while it’s available to rent on Apple TV for just $3.99/£3.49. It’s not quite as polished as Severance, but it’ll sate your appetite for cryptic corporate comedy while we wait for Severance’s return.

More from iMore

Gerald Lynch
Editor in Chief

Gerald Lynch is the Editor-in-Chief of iMore, keeping careful watch over the site's editorial output and commercial campaigns, ensuring iMore delivers the in-depth, accurate and timely Apple content its readership deservedly expects. You'll never see him without his iPad Pro, and he loves gaming sessions with his buddies via Apple Arcade on his iPhone 15 Pro, but don't expect him to play with you at home unless your Apple TV is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. 

Living in London in the UK, Gerald was previously Editor of Gizmodo UK, and Executive Editor of TechRadar, and has covered international trade shows including Apple's WWDC, MWC, CES and IFA. If it has an acronym and an app, he's probably been there, on the front lines reporting on the latest tech innovations. Gerald is also a contributing tech pundit for BBC Radio and has written for various other publications, including T3 magazine, GamesRadar,, Real Homes, MacFormat, music bible DIY, Tech Digest, TopTenReviews,, Brandish, Kotaku, Shiny Shiny and Lifehacker. Gerald is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press, and also holds a Guinness world record on Tetris. For real.