Apollo 18 Launches With Weinstein

Deadline Hollywood reports that The Weinstein Company has acquired rights to Apollo 18, a found-footage sci-fi horror film that centers on NASA’s cancelled Apollo 18 moon mission.  

Conspiracy theorists have long maintained that the Apollo 18 mission—along with also-cancelled Apollo 19 and 20—was conducted in secret. Indeed, producer Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) purportedly showed studio chief Bob Weinstein footage from the secret Apollo 18 mission shot by the mission’s crew.  Allegedly, that footage shows evidence of extra-terrestrial life on the moon.

The film’s script, by Brian Miller, winner of Bekmambetov’s Astana International Action Film Festival screenplay competition, incorporates elements from the footage with other aspects of the actual mission into an otherwise wholly fictitious story.  Bekmambetov has personally selected newcomer Trevor Cawood to direct.

As a sci-fi fan, I’m mildly interested in this film, but am also wary of its use of found-footage, a genre once considered groundbreaking thahat s become almost an afterthought in horror. I’m also skeptical regarding the reported claim of 18 being based on actual footage from the “real” Apollo 18 mission. Sometimes such grand conspiracy theories are based in reality, but they’re more often pure fantasy.  This particular “conspiracy” likely falls into the latter category.

That’s not to say the film won’t be entertaining. Bob Weinstein and his company have a reputation not only for shrewd business dealings, but also for producing high-caliber entertainment. Let’s just hope moviegoers don’t mistake Apollo 18 for historical fact.

Interestingly, according to Digital Spy, Warner Bros. is working on a found-footage sci-fi horror film with a strikingly similar alien conspiracy premise.  That film, entitled, Dark Moon, reportedly also centers on one of the cancelled Apollo missions, meaning that if one or both of these films is successful, the “found-footage in space” genre might well become all the rage in Hollywood.

In any case, The Weinstein Company hopes to release Apollo 18 March 4, 2011.