According to Heat Vision, Michael Bay (Transformers, Armageddon) has agreed to produce a "Confidential Alien Project" (working title), which was pitched to Bay and his Platinum Dunes production company by neophyte writer and former production assistant Bobby Glickert. Paramount and Platinum Dunes have taken on the project, whose plot involves alien abductions.
Although Glickert successfully sold the film's treatment (with the help of a two-minute teaser trailer), Bay and co. have decided to reach out to additional writers to pen the script. Glickert will, however, direct.
As of the moment, Paramount plans to develop the untitled project with a projected budget of only $12 million, which would put it in a similar category (financially and thematically) as J.J. Abrams' upcoming Super 8, which the studio is also producing for a comparatively small $45 million. It's an intriguing gambit, especially coming from a production company with Bay's name attached, but seems in line with the recent trend of studios backing smaller budget (but high-grossing) sci-fi movies like District 9 and Cloverfield. Then again, while Bay's name brings to mind huge-budget CGI extravaganzas like Transformers 2 (estimated budget $200 million), he has also produced a number of horror remakes (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th) for well under $20 million - meaning this is well-worn territory for Platinum Dunes.
Personally, I'm excited to hear that Bay and co. are interested in developing their sci-fi properties for less money. While it's no guarantee, a lower budget means more emphasis has to be placed on story and character development to make up for the smaller number of special effects. And if fewer explosions means better dialogue, then I'd say we're on the right track.
Source: Heat Vision