Roland Emmerich’s low budget sci-fi flick shuts down

2012 and Independence Day director seemingly abandons his plan to make a $5m science fiction movie….

It raised eyebrows, at the very least. Last week, we reported the news that budget spender extraordinaire, Mr Roland Emmerich, was putting aside the requirement for a big cheque to a special effects company to instead focus on a far smaller project. That project was The Zone, a $5m sci-fi film that worked around the ‘found footage’ concept.

The problem, of course, is that ‘found footage’, a la The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity and Cloverfield, is becoming an increasingly popular storytelling device. And in the past week, a similar-sounding found footage sci-fi movie by the name of Apollo 18 was bought by The Weinstein Company, with a March 2011 release date mooted.

Given that Emmerich was looking to have The Zone ready for April, that’s likely to have had an impact somewhere along the line.

The news of the project’s demise was brought by The Hollywood Reporter, which quoted a source close to the director as saying, “This is not a project [Emmerich] is pursuing at this time.”

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Work had begun on the project, it reports, with the largely improvised film already in the rehearsal stage with actors. But it looks like The Zone is now firmly off the radar. It’ll be interesting to see if Emmerich does pursue a lower budget film for his next project, though…

The Hollywood Reporter

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