Details on Reese & Wernick's Sci-Fi War Epic Earth vs. Moon

August 18, 2009

Earth from the Moon

Yesterday we ran an early interview with the writers of Zombieland, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. At the end, I asked them about what they've got coming up next, and while they couldn't talk about the Venom script the wrote, they were able to talk about "a big, epic, sci-fi war movie" called Earth vs. Moon. It was sold as a pitch to Universal with Scott Stuber (The Kingdom, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, The Wolf Man) producing, but it's much different, tonally, from Zombieland. Wernick describes it as a "hardcore, 300-style movie with some comic relief to it, but about the Earth and a colony on the moon essentially in a civil war."

Reese explains that it's "set about 300 or 400 years in the future" and that they originally thought it would be a great video game, but decided to pitch as a movie instead since that's what they know how to do best.

"It's about two societies at war, but it's also about a family, not at war, but a fractured family. Half of them have gone to the moon and the other half are still on Earth and so they are on opposite sides of this conflict and we wanted to make sure that as big of movie as it's going to be, it works on a small level. It works on a personal level, the way we like to think about Zombieland working. It's just this huge post-apocalyptic landscape, but we really want it to work on an interpersonal level for just a few people who are the stars."

He says that the concept comes from this TED speech that Stephen Hawking gave "about the necessity to colonize other worlds because of the inherent dangers on Earth, nuclear dangers, biological dangers, and the need to have a back-up society." They go on to say that it's such a "huge movie" that "it's either going to be made at a grand scale for $200 million or not at all." Sounds like an awesome concept. Reese and Wernick are currently working on a second draft of the screenplay, which I'm sure is being pitched to directors and actors around town, because the moment they find the right director, this will probably move very quickly.

Lastly, if Earth vs. Moon ever does get off the ground, they want Will Smith for the lead. So much so that they even named the lead character Will in hopes of grabbing his attention. I haven't read the script, but it definitely sounds cool, and I'd love to see some talented director hop on board and show us what an Earth vs. Moon civil war would look like. If Avatar is a huge hit, maybe a big, new sci-fi movie trend will follow.

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Ha its true! Such a copy of Heinlein's book!

Commodore_Perry on Aug 18, 2009


I do hope they credit Mr Heinlein somehow, in this film. And come on... naming your character Will in order to get Will Smith? So if he says no, they'll ask Will Ferrell next? Hey, maybe you could ask William Shatner, too.

Luis M on Aug 18, 2009


No doubt the executors of Robert Heinlein's estate will be watching this 'VERY' closely. Why didn't they simply try and get the rights to The Moon is a Harsh Mistress instead? The biggest injustice is that if Heinlein's sci fi masterpiece becomes a movie down the road, most people will call it a rip off of Earth vs. Moon.

Hatori Hanzo on Aug 18, 2009


haha yea #1 as soon as I read the title to this I immediately thought of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Although they most likely won't have the people on the moon be criminals, it's still very similar. That is one of my favorite books.

Dan W on Aug 18, 2009


Madness! I read that book last week. And a great book it was...

Pete on Aug 18, 2009


Just because this movie is about a moon colony revolting against Earth doesn't mean it copies Heinlein's book. It's a pretty broad idea. Either way, I just hope the studio that picks it up works everything out so we dont have a repeat of the Watchmen/WB/Fox clusterfuck.

Rorschach90 on Aug 18, 2009


Earth vs Moon? WAT? What Army does the Moon have? let alone resources? lol....Earth overkills the moon...?

Scott on Aug 18, 2009


the mention of will smith killed it for me. i hate that guy with a passion.

andrew on Aug 18, 2009


Isn't there a European movie in development about the nazis having created a secret colony on the moon? and now they are coming back to finish the job Hitler started? The Germans were experimenting with all types of jets, rocketry, etc. Hell, we were able to have a space program because some former nazi scientists were "converted" to truth, justice and the American Way. This " Moon Nazis Attack!" idea sounds much better than Earth Vs. Moon, which will undoubtedly have a bigger budget by far. Lots of moon film stuff going on.

zubzwank on Aug 18, 2009


A bit like the old Ben Bova novels? Moon, Venus, some other rubbish I can't recall. Never really a Bova fan but Moon was O.K. and Venus was good. Why can't someone do a Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars trilogy? It'd be worth it for the collapsing space elevator and the terraforming/civil war/revolution plot. Kim Stanley Robinson can help with the script.

Malcolm on Aug 19, 2009


There was talk, after the succes of Star Ship Troopers of making more films from Heinlein's books. Mainly, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, but nothing ever came of it. Are the films rights still owned by someone? It is sad that there are so many bad remakes and movies with no intelligent plot(I think you know the ones ) coming out and there is a vast untapped resource of original Sci Fi that would be superb transfered onto the big screen. Re #4 post. If Harlan Elison can get a nice fat cheque every time they do a terminator film,there is no reason why Heinleins estate cannot do the same. skipman

skipman on Aug 19, 2009


How about "Cyber Sluts from Ganymede"? Barbarella-esque android sex worker soft porn flick being done now by for the Playboy Channel. A classic in the making......

Pikey Chav on Aug 19, 2009


#12 Skipman- Was Starship Troopers a box office success? I thought it was great, but i didn't get the impression it did large numbers.

zubzwank on Aug 19, 2009


So... space colonies vs earth... sounds like almost every episode of the Gundam franchise I've ever seen. VERY original. 

Nrjze on Oct 20, 2011

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