Roland Emmerich’s Out Of The Zone

His found footage flick shuts down

Roland Emmerich's Out Of The Zone

by James White |
Published on

And then there was one… Less. Just when the found footage genre was starting to blossom into a new tidal wave trend of movie-making on the back of Cloverfield and Paranormal Activity’s success, one of the biggest names looking to dip their toe into it has run back shivering to the relative security of a beach hut. And before that metaphor gets stretched even further beyond breaking point, we should point out that the big name in question is Roland Emmerich, who has shut down pre-production on his planned low-budget alien invasion movie The Zone.

Back on Halloween, we reported that Emmerich had announced he was doing a JJ Abrams and getting into the low-fi, amateur footage genre with the film, which would use relative newcomers Peter Mackenzie and Brendon Scott and others to blend improvisation with Guillaume Tunzini’s script to create something fresh for a price tag of around $5 million.

Actual plot details were scare, but we do know it would have used the trope of a journalist and his cameraman capturing the events as they happen. Yet it’s not to be. "This is not a project he is pursuing at this time," was the comment provided by the director’s representatives.

No reason was given for the sudden ditching of the film (which was to have started shooting next week), but The Hollywood Reporter speculates that the sudden glut of found footage flicks entering the market, including Abrams’ Super 8, Warner Bros.’ spec script Dark Moon and Timur Bekmambetov's just-announced Apollo 18 probably had something to do with his reticence. Because despite the fact that he’s only just talking about it now, Bekmambetov has himself been a sneaky sort and already had Apollo shooting, ready for a March release. Which would mean it arriving before The Zone.

So, for now at least, Shakespearian political thriller Anonymous will have to stand as the next evolutionary step for Emmerich. Wonder if he’ll re-focus his efforts on adapting Asimov too?

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