Roland Emmerich's Secret Sci-Fi Project 'The Zone' Shuts Down
Back at the end of October we heard about yet another alien invasion project from Roland Emmerich (2012, Independence Day) which was also another in a series of films employing the "found footage" narrative device like the recent horror hit Paranormal Activity. Unlike his previous blockbusters, the film boasted an improv-based cast of unknowns with a measly $5 million budget. However, it looks like the influx of found footage driven films has taken its toll on Emmerich's project as Heat Vision reports production on The Zone has been shut down. No specific reasons are given for the halt, but a couple speculative reasons are mentioned. Read on!
Representatives for Emmerich issued a solitary statement about the production stop by simply saying, ""This is not a project [Roland Emmerich] is pursuing at this time." While the definitive reason for the halt is unknown, Heat Vision speculates that the found footage device in storytelling is becoming too abundant for yet another film to employ the narrative method. Though The Blair Witch Project launched the unique method of storytelling over a decade ago, recent hits like Cloverfield and Paranormal Activity have made similar stories even more popular with studios. The Zone would've followed actors Peter Mackenzie and Brandon Scott as a journalist and a cameraman caught up in an alien invasion.
In a related reason, they also point out that The Zone would have been released just after another recently announced found footage project, Timur Bekmambetov's Apollo 18, hit theaters in March. So the "staring contest" between Bekmambetov and Emmerich already has a winner, but Heat Vision points out the projects are different enough that both films could have likely co-existed peacefully. Personally, I'm not sure why the project hasn't simply been given a later release date, but there you have it. I suppose there's always a chance that the project will get revived down the road, but for now it's dead in the water. Disappointed?