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Found-Footage Frenzy: Is 'Apollo 18' Making Other Projects Abandon Ship?

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Nov 10, 2010 | 4:11am EST

ALTIs the arrival of Apollo 18 making other found-footage projects abandon ship?

After reporting on Tuesday that Roland Emmerich's sci-fi found-footage flick The Zone had been shut down, the Heat Vision blog yesterday added that yet another victim in the hot genre had been shelved -- albeit with what looks like a happy ending. The culprit, says HV, is the Timur Bekmambetov-produced Apollo, which the Weinstein Co. boarded this past weekend.

HV provides backstory, recalling that back in October Warner Bros. picked up Dark Moon, a spec script written by Olatunde Osunsanmi, for Akiva Goldsman to produce. Osunsanmi was also on board to direct the found footage project.

Per HV:

The genre's conceit is that the footage purports to be genuine reels, tapes or files found after the person operating the camera expires or disappears. Alien-invasion flick Cloverfield kicked off the recent trend, which also encompasses the hugely successful Paranormal Activity movies.

Like Apollo 18, Moon is based on the idea that NASA's manned moon missions did not stop with Apollo 17.

But, says HV, when Warners execs learned of TWC and Bekmambetov's project over the weekend, they got nervous. On Monday the Moon folks were told their mission was in turnaround.

Cue Dark Castle's Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman, fans of the Moon script. The duo went to boss Joel Silver with the project on Tuesday and Silver reportedly authorized the company to pick the pic up.

Negotiations are still ongoing, but Moon will now be financed and made by Dark Castle, with Weed Road still on board as a producer. The project will shoot this winter -- ironically, for distribution next year via Warners, as per Dark Castle's output deal with the studio.

Back in Emmerich's Zone, the director's camp told HV: "This is not a project (Emmerich) is pursuing at this time."

Members of the production are at a loss as to why the film had its plug pulled, though rumors abound, says HV:

Two factors may be in play: One, the found-footage trope is becoming overplayed, and two, Zone would have been released a scant weeks after another found-footage sci-fi movie.

TWC's Apollo is set for March; Zone would have come out in April.

It looks like in the staring contest between Bekmambetov and Emmerich, Emmerich blinked first, which is too bad as both would have probably been different enough that both filmmakers could have stood tall. Being a marketer on the second movie, however, would have been a tough job.

Source: Hollywood Wiretap

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