A few days ago Mr. Murphy let you know about Apollo 18, Timur Bekmambetov’s film about a secret NASA launch that discovered alien life on the moon that will be directed by effects guy Trevor Cawood. Similar to the well in to production and soon-to-be-ultra-hyped Super 8, the film is described as a movie that will reveal a huge conspiracy involving the cover up of extraterrestrials, with that added “found footage” twist (Super 8 isn’t “found footage” apparently). And while they’re not necessarily “found footage” movies, Monsters, Skyline, Battle: LA, and even Battleship all involve more realistic, shaky, or ground-level approaches to alien invasions or discoveries and are in release or scheduled soon. With all of these Alien projects rushing through the doorway in Hollywood, there was bound to be a clog, and it appears Apollo 18 was the last straw as two smaller-scale Alien projects have been shelved- Dark Moon, and The Zone.
News that The Zone had been canceled came yesterday, and was interesting because the project was purported to be Roland Emmerich’s shot at a low-budget, grassroots film. There wasn’t much known about the film, except that it would have been loose and improvisational, as well as centered around an alien invasion.
While that cancellation (perhaps abandonment would be the better word) may or may not have to do with the glut of projects involving aliens in production, according to the news break, Warner Brothers has canceled Dark Moon specifically because of Apollo 18‘s green light. That’s not the end of the story though…
Unperturbed by The Weinstein’s and their Apollo-conspiracy Moon movie, Joel Silver has picked up Dark Moon via Dark Castle Productions, and plans to shoot this winter (Apollo 18‘s planned release is in March)! Warner Brothers will remain involved, since they have a deal with Dark Castle to distribute their films, but the production itself will come entirely from Silver and co.
Joel is often considered one of the business’s consummate action producers, so he must see something worthwhile in the script for Dark Moon, or assume that audiences won’t mind gobbling up another alien film amidst the wave. Considering how insatiably hungry the market continues to be for vampire and zombie material (for reasons that completely baffle me). While only a handful of these coming films seem genuinely interesting, I would trade a relentless wave of alien films for the relentless wave of paranormal bullshit we have now any day. There’s a much large field for creativity and unique concepts when you’re drawing from the depths of space, rather the same old shambling, sparkling cadavers.
If the suits at the studios think the wave’s getting too big though, I guess I’ll have to hang on to my own genre spec script…
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