Thursday, 13 June 2013

UFO Movie News Round Up

By Robbie Graham

HBO is moving into the sci-fi arena with an epic series exploring extraterrestrial contact. According to Deadline, The Spark, which is currently in development, “is set in a world undergoing a technological/industrial revolution in the near future when contacted by a signal from beyond the solar system. It centers on the human reaction to a mystery still spiritually and technologically out of reach and follows a female protagonist as she works on the cusp of the Earth’s effort to discover the origin of the signal.”

The man behind The Spark is Karl Gajdusek – creator/executive producer of ABC’s Last Resort series and co-writer of the Tom Cruise sci-fi, Oblivion. Gajdusek, who will write and executive produce The Spark, says his series will explore on a human level what he calls the five pillars of science fiction: “Alien Contact, Artificial Intelligence, Technological breakthroughs, Space Exploration/Adventure, and Origin Stories.”

Sounds great, but is this reminding everyone else of a certain 1985 Carl Sagan novel that became a certain 1997 Jodie Foster/Robert Zemeckis movie.


Roland Emmerich’s Centropolis Entertainment has bought the rights to what Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr describes as “an alien invasion storycontaining hot-button science elements.” Titled Emergence, Centropolis will bring the story to the big screen as “a large scale contemporary science fiction film,” and Emmerich himself will direct.
The pitch for Emergence was written by Nic Kelman, best known for his 2003 bestselling novel, Girls.Deadline points out that Kelman holds a Bachelor of Science from MIT and speculates that the writer’s scientific background will notably inform the plot for Emmerich’s film. “This [Emergence] falls into the latest trend encompassing films like the Christopher Nolan-directed Interstellar, which melds narrative storytelling with grounded science theory.”

Quite what scientific angle Emergence will explore in relation to alien invasion is unclear at this point, though it may be notable that, while at MIT, Kelman majored in Brain and Cognitive Science. Does this mean we might see an alien movie finally getting to grips with the strong psychic aspects of alien encounters commonly reported by UFO witnesses? Time will tell, but not for a while yet as no release date has been announced. Expect 2015 at the earliest. In the meantime, Emmerich has two Independence Day sequels to deliver.