The Darkest Hour Shut Down By Fire

Choking smoke in Moscow causes delay

Bet they regret calling it The Darkest Hour now: Summit Entertainment and New Regency have decided to shut down production on the alien invasion thriller that was filming in Moscow because the smoke engulfing the city from nearby wildfires is making it too hazardous for the crew and cast, including Emile Hirsch and Olivia Thirlby, to be outside.

The movie, which finds a group of American backpackers in Russia facing off against a threat from the stars (as in aliens, not as in A-listers), has been shooting in the city and in the custom-built production facility spearheaded by Hour producer Timur Bekmambetov. We’re guessing director Chris Gorak didn’t have quite enough cover sets to sustain filming through such a long delay.

"On any production the health and safety of the actors and crew is of primary concern," Summit says in a statement to the Heat Vision Blog. "The potential health issues and spread of fire has forced the production to be put on hold for two weeks in order to allow things to stabilize in the area."

Of equally bizarre coincidence is the fact that Gorak’s first directorial job was dirty bomb thriller Right at your Door, which saw Los Angeles residents trapped and affected by the atmosphere.

The film is planned to re-start soon enough to keep on track, with the production companies calling in “force majeure” – or act of God – clauses in contracts to cover everyone. If only those were used more often to actually shut down films – think of the hours we’d get back if the people behind Meet the Spartans and the various Date/Epic/whatever Movie films had had to shut down because the universe didn't want them to exist.