Emmerich doing low budget invasion film
Roland Emmerich is more synonymous with huge budgeted epic world destruction films, think Independence Day, Godzilla, The Day After Tomorrow, 10,000 BC, or 2012, but you don't think of a film that's running in single figures...okay, well we're still talking millions, but Emmerich, with a mere US $5 million budget? That's pretty surprising.
It's even more surprising when you hear that he hasn't made a film with a budget under $100 million since Stargate in 1994, that's sixteen years and six films ago. So to hear that his next film is another Earth invasion with a budget of the aforementioned $5 million is rather startling.
The film is called The Zone and is going to go to the hook of the moment, the “found footage” ploy which a lot of films seem to be kicking off with these days.
Unfortunately there's no other information on the film other than there are reportedly two leads just cast, one who will be playing a journalist in their forties or fifties, and the other a man in their mid twenties who is the cameraman who films the found footage.
There are a number of odd things in the The Hollywood Reporter Heat Vision story, the first I found issue with is that the whole “found footage” thing is not a genre, it's merely a plot theme within a genre of films, Paranormal Activity (Filmstalker review) is not in the “found footage” genre it's in horror, although I'd argue that point.
Also they say that the “Alien invasion flick Cloverfield kicked off the trend”, something I'm not sure you could successfully argue, Cloverfield (Filmstalker review) was made in 2008, that's two years ago, the current run of films employing the “found footage” took a little break before it really got going then, and couldn't you equally argue that the trend began before that with films that employed the same type of hook in them, Signs had a little of it, we could perhaps go back as far as The Blair Witch Project and The Last Broadcast to truly say that's when the trend started.
Anyway, back to the story in hand. What's really interesting about this is not that Roland Emmerich is going to a minuscule budget in comparison to his other films but that a French writer and director has written the script for The Zone, Guillaume Tunzini is the man behind the story that Emmerich is co-producing.
The real question is will Emmerich actually be directing? For that's another strange thing about the story, it doesn't say if he's actually doing anything more than producing, and if we're talking about producing then he's been involved on a production basis on a couple of films that haven't broken the bank budget wise and the whole hook, or perhaps genre, of this story is a bit lost.
I wonder if he will direct or if he's producing the film that perhaps Tunzini himself will end up directing?