Skyman, a new film from The Blair Witch Project’s Daniel Myrick, is set to make its Earthly arrival, set to bring about more fictional-found-footage drama, as evidenced by the release of a new trailer on the occasion of the film’s acquisition by distributor Gravitas Ventures, which has release plans that are intrinsically of the COVID-19 era.
Myrick, who wrote and directed the picture, has returned to his original wheelhouse with sci-fi offering Skyman, which essentially gives the arena of UFOs and close encounters the… well, Blair Witch-type disguised fourth wall treatment, manifesting as a pseudo-documentary. The film debuted at the 2019 Austin Film Festival, held that October, after which it was shopped around.
The Skyman trailer previews a film—centered on a 1987 E.T. incident involving a 10-year-old boy—that does its best to disguise its fictional status by showcasing an array of news broadcasts and vintage-styled testimonials that seem authentic enough to fool anyone not in the know.
As the official synopsis for Skyman reads:
In 1987, just days after his 10th birthday, Carl Merryweather rocked the local news community when he claimed he was visited by an extraterrestrial life form. Despite other alleged sightings reported that same evening, skeptical authorities shrugged off the claims. Now, almost three obsessive decades later, Carl is set on a mission to reunite with the being he calls ‘the Skyman’ to not only prove the skeptics wrong but to ultimately find his own true sense of purpose. Through first-hand home videos interwoven with news footage and interviews, Skyman is a bold and compelling study of the fascinating and unquestioning world of UFO subculture.
Skyman Release Date
Skyman will make its general public debut at theaters, specifically drive-in theaters, on June 30.
However, the film will be available to watch on demand on July 7, accommodating those not lucky enough to live near a drive-in (unfortunately, the majority of moviegoers).
Skyman is an intriguing return to form for Myrick, who famously teamed with Eduardo Sánchez as co-writer/director for 1999’s The Blair Witch Project, a film that positively pierced the pop culture landscape, and—notwithstanding the less-recognized 1998 effort, The Last Broadcast—is widely credited for inventing (or, in the very least, popularizing) the found-footage sub-genre, which utilized the democratizing strategy of using consumer-level equipment—in this case camcorders—to shoot what would become a wide-release film. Indeed, the realistic shaky-cam footage of Blair Witch successfully cultivated a new kind of horror based on what the viewers didn’t see, standing in stark contrast to decades of schlock and slasher monsters.
The Blair Witch iron would not remain white-hot for long, notably after audience disappointment from 2000’s Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, its flop of a conventional horror sequel from director Joe Berlinger. However, the genre spawned by the original film would live on in the ensuing decades with an array of offerings, most notably the Paranormal Activity franchise, and even took a took a social media twist with the Unfriended films. Myrick would return in 2008 with sci-fi horror film Solstice, and served as a producer on director Adam Wingard’s 2016 reboot, which bore the shortened title, Blair Witch. He most recently wrote/directed 2017 Lifetime TV movie Under the Bed. Thus, Skyman could become quite the comeback vehicle.
Myrick also serves as a producer on the film, joined in that capacity by Joseph Restaino, Anthony Pernicka and William Surgeon. Additionally, the film’s music is composed by Don Miggs and Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan.
The main cast of Skyman consists of Michael Selle, Nicolette Sweeney and Faleolo Alailima. Interestingly, the child at the center of the film’s plot, Carl Merryweather, is played by actor Jacob Sandler, who you may remember from his role as the child version of Brad Pitt’s character in 2019 astronaut epic Ad Astra.