J.J. Abrams Producing Sci-Fi Flick With A “Cloverfield Feel” For Sony Pictures

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In light of Sony Pictures’ recent hack attacks, studio production president Michael De Luca is acquiring a stream of new properties to counteract the effects of the leaks. This week alone the studio nabbed Passengers, the latest script from Prometheus scribe Jon Spaihts and a NYPD documentary titled The Seven Five. The most intriguing addition to their upcoming slate, however, is this recently-announced project from J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot production banner.

As reported by Deadline, the untitled sci-fi film was at the centre of a bidding frenzy between Sony, Lionsgate and STX, until Sony beat out its competitors. Abrams and his Bad Robot team will produce the pic, with up-and-comer Chris Alender at the helm. The expectation is to introduce Alender – who at this point has crafted a handful of shorts – to bigger audiences as Abrams did with Matt Reeves via his 2008 monster flick. According to Deadline’s reporter, Alender’s debut will have a “Cloverfield feel,” “a contained budget” and will involve aliens.

Prior to Sony’s acquisition, development was headed up at Bad Robot, who were in cahoots with Paramount to produce. Since that studio were slow to make movement, Abrams urged them to let it go. At that time, Alender stepped in to make his case, which no doubt greased the wheels for the Sony deal.

Here’s a rundown of his efforts:

He cut together a sizzle reel that accentuated the inventive things the film brings to the genre; he created a digital look book that explained the visuals of the movie and he even made a five-minute teaser scene that was an action-heavy precursor to this film.

If there’s any chance the teaser hits the web, we’ll be sure to keep you posted as this is one project that we’ve got flagged on our ones-to-watch-out-for list. With script drafts also fine-tuned by Fringe scribe Justin Doble, it might not be J.J. Abrams directing, but it’s got all the hallmarks of his genre.