With NASA about to scuttle the shuttle, Richard Branson?s plans to shoot the moon with tourists and SpaceX having its own venture-capitalized space race, the final frontier clearly still captures the American imagination ??but will it capture ticket sales? The Weinstein Company seems to thinks so, at least that?s what one might infer from their ?documentary-style sci-fi thriller,? Apollo 18.
No, you haven?t missed several intervening sequels to Ron Howard?s 1995 flick, nor are the Weinsteins poaching from the They Might Be Giants Album of 1992 which, mysteriously, featured an orbiting squid an whale in mid-battle ??an inspiration for director Noah Baumbach?).
This space oddity takes it?s premise from a canceled 1969 moon-shot, according to the Weinstein?s publicist, actually occurred under a veil of secrecy for reasons known only to Nixon and his toadies.
From the release:
?A quintessential Cold War story, Apollo 18 casts light on the covert and undocumented lunar mission that officially ?never happened.??Bekmambetov, hired by Russia to shoot a documentary about the Russian space station, recently came across footage in its space archives that bolsters the idea that an Apollo 18 mission did, in fact, take place, and reveals startling evidence of extraterrestrial life forms. ?This actual footage will be part of Apollo 18, a paranormal thriller that will interpolate fact and fiction.?
There?s no reference to a successful, if secret, Apollo 18 mission listed on that bastion of crowd-sourced conspiracy, Wikipedia (yes, I dug that deep). Harvey Weinstein, however, is insistent: ?We were absolutely compelled to bring it to the screen for audiences to judge for themselves.?
Or at least, they were compelled to try to generate some pre-launch buzz. To be directed by Trevor Cawood from a screenplay by Brian Miller, production has been fast-tracked to begin in December, with a wide release planned for March 4.
Let?s just hope no one utters the fateful words, ?Harvey, we have a problem??