Dimension Films/The Weinstein Company are so enthusiastic about their developing “found footage” sci-fi film Apollo 18 they have already released a teaser poster days after hiring a new director (Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego) and before the cast is even set. Because, not unlike the America versus Russia space race to the Moon in the ’60s, there are two rival movies in active development, both about covert missions to research lunar anomalies.
The first announced was Olatunde Osunsanmi’s Dark Moon, a project that was dumped by Warner Bros and just as quickly picked up by Dark Castle Entertainment. That film is centered on the post-mission debriefings of a secret three-man crew to the Moon and their highly classified discoveries. We reviewed the script and, while the gradual setup is suspenseful, the ending is hilariously awful, enough to negate much of the first and second act with its Skyline-esque absurdity.
Luckily Brian Miller’s script for Apollo 18 isn’t as unintentionally funny. The story opens on astronauts Nathan and Ben, already walking on the surface, after they have just escaped… something. Infinitely better than Osunsanmi’s script, Miller’s concept tells the story as if the frightened men were truly documenting the events, then fills the gaps with still frames, voices layered over blackness, and other “found footage” techniques. It’s more “what was that?” spookiness than Dark Moon‘s in-your-face spectacle. With Russian filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov producing and overseeing the special effects, I’m betting on this mission.
Apollo 18 is scheduled to launch March 4, 2011. There is already an official website too.