Are the end of times coming… in Hollywood? Could this be evidence of a changing trend that’ll soon sweep the entire filmmaking world and infect other A-list directors like Steven Spielberg or Michael Bay? J.J. Abrams was one of the first to take a small budget and catapult it into the mega feature known as Cloverfield. The trend is hotter than I thought as Roland Emmerich pulled a shocker by getting behind the camera for a super secret $5m alien invasion indie only known as The Zone. The man hans’t worked with less than $100m in over 16 years — can he pull a rabbit out of his hat? Let’s hope so. I love this trend and think it’s great for the business…a business plagued by overspending.
The man who destroyed the White House and made one of the biggest alien invasion movies of all time, is secretly returning to the genre, this time in a decidedly small way.
Roland Emmerich, who directed Independence Day and is one of the masters of the modern tentpole, is gearing up to shoot The Zone, a stealth project that is joining the swelling ranks of the “found footage” genre, which purport to be genuine reels, tapes or files found after the person operating the camera expires.
Alien invasion flick Cloverfield kicked off the trend, which also encompasses the hugely successful Paranormal Activity movies.
No plot details are known but sources say Zone revolves around an alien invasion, will be improv-based and cast with relative unknowns.
In fact, word is that two leads were just cast, one playing a haggard journalist in his 40s or 50s, the other a black man in his early to mid 20’s, the cameraman.
Emmerich, who hasn’t worked on movie with budgets of less than $100 million since 1994’s Stargate, will be operating with only $5 million in the bank, less than what the upcoming alien invasion movie Skyline had to work with.
Sources say Sony will distribute the movie as a negative pick-up. The studio, a frequent home for Emmerich, had no comment.
French writer-director Guillaume Tunzini penned the script and Loucas George is a producer on the pic, which will begin shooting mid-November. Sources say Sony, which had no comment, will distribute the movie as a negative pick-up
Making Zone may signal a trend for Emmerich in that the disaster film maestro is embracing moviemaking with more modest budgets. The CAA-repped director is in post on Anonymous, a political thriller set in the time of Queen Elizabeth I.