After helming Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger to widespread acclaim, director Joe Johnston is returning to his sci-fi roots for an upcoming alien invasion thriller. Johnston, who got his start as an effects artist and arts director on the original Star Wars trilogy, has signed on to helm Extinction, a sci-fi thriller about a man trying to save his family in the face of an alien invasion.
Described as a “contained sci-fi thriller,” Extinction boasts a script by Spenser Cohen, an up-and-coming screenwriter who previously sold three spec scripts to major studios between 2011 and 2012. Good Universe, which preemptively picked up Extinction last September, compared the project to The Sixth Sense and Cloverfield, though the studio is keeping details on the story tightly under wraps. All I can imagine “contained” to mean is low-budget, so Extinction will likely have a quick shoot and get out to a studio within the next 12 to 18 months.
David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman of Mandeville are producing, with Mandeville executive Alex Young on board as an executive producer.
Johnston’s previous films include Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, The Pagemaster, The Rocketeer, Jumanji, October Sky and Jurassic Park III. The director took a long hiatus after 2004’s Hidalgo, only to return with the ill-received, Benicio del Toro-starring remake of The Wolfman in 2010. Luckily, Captain America: The First Avenger received highly positive reviews a year later. He last worked on a Jason Blum-produced thriller called Not Safe for Work, starring Max Minghella, about an office worker trapped inside their workplace with a killer on the loose. The film is currently dwelling in post-production without a release date.
Johnston is currently also attached to Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father, a crime drama about famed Gambino crime kingpin John Gotti and his son, with John Travolta, Anthony Hopkins and Kelly Preston signed on to star. However, that film, which is currently set for release sometime in 2015, will likely take a lot longer to put together, so I’d imagine that Extinction could easily sneak into theaters first.
Are you interested in checking out Extinction, or has an overabundance of alien invasion sci-fi films in recent years turned you away from the genre? Sound off in the comments section!