〉 Roland Emmerich is attached to direct one of the sci-fi specs that is currently building buzz on the market.
With the summer blockbuster season heating up and Independence Day: Resurgence going wide on June 24th, two similarly titled alien invasion specs have hit the market in an attempt to draw some of the residual heat surrounding the belated sequel to the 1996 hit.
MOONFALL, which could be described as Armageddon meets Independence Day, is centered on an unlikely band of misfits who, when an asteroid collides with the moon, must come together to travel to the moon and harness the alien technology left behind to stop it from colliding with the earth. The spec comes from Independence Day and Resurgence director Roland Emmerich, who co-wrote the script with Singularity collaborators Harald Kloser and 2015 Young & Hungry writer Spenser Cohen, is attached to direct. The high-concept sci-fi action spec puts Emmerich in familiar territory as he is the director and producer 2012, 10,000 B.C., The Day After Tomorrow, and Godzilla. Kloser has mostly made a career as a musician, providing the score for several of Emmerich’s films, while Cohen’s additional credits include High Value Target, currently in development at Millennium Films, and his alien invasion spec Extinction, which landed on both the 2013 Hit List and Black List. The script is out from CAA, who reps Emmerich.
THE FALL is also making its way around town, and we’re hearing that it’s already into most of the majors. The spec, from scribe Pete Bridges, is centered on a newly divorced couple who, when they find themselves in the middle of an alien invasion, must survive a dangerous real-time journey on foot from downtown Atlanta to the suburbs, where their young children are home safe. Bridges, who landed on the 2015 Black List with his script Resurface, is repped by Verve and Madhouse Entertainment.
It was just a few weeks ago that two different specs titled Burn Run made their way around town – one from Matthew Tente and the other from former intelligence officer Mitchell LaFortune. LaFortune’s, pitched as Sicario meets Bourne, ultimately sold to Sicario producer Thunder Road Pictures in what was reportedly a massive deal for the first-time screenwriter.
Both Moonfall and The Fall share an alien-centric storyline (though the former sees a lot of action in outer space, while the latter keeps its heroes grounded) which look to feed off of some of the buzz surrounding Emmerich’s upcoming Resurgence. However, the twenty years-in-the-making follow up to the box office phenomenon is not tracking particularly well. Without the star power of Will Smith and some stiff competition from Central Intelligence, The BFG, The Legend of Tarzan, and The Purge: Election Year – all hitting theaters within a week or two of Resurgence – 20th Century Fox is depending on 90s nostalgia to buoy the $200 million gamble. So far, social media activity surrounding Resurgence has been low, suggesting that it won’t benefit from sudden, break-out success. The potential box office performance of Resurgence aside, Emmerich’s involvement with Moonfall should up the ante on the spec’s prospects regardless.
We’ll keep you updated as details surface on both of these red hot specs.
Josh Lyons | Managing Editor