19 May 2012

Life on Venus in ‘Beyond Apollo’?

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

Barry Malzberg's award-winning sci-fi thriller novel Beyond Apollo is being adapted for the big screen by writer/director Michael Grodner and executive producer Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In).

Here’s the synopsis for Beyond Apollo as presented on the movie’s official website:

“The first two-man mission to Venus is aborted in mid-flight and abruptly returns back to Earth. When rescue crews go to retrieve the space capsule, they make a startling discovery: The Captain is missing – there is no sign of his body whatsoever – and strangely enough, the lone surviving astronaut has no clue about what took place.

Beyond Apollo tells the riveting story of when that astronaut, Harry Evans, returns to earth and must answer to the authorities about what really happened on board the doomed flight to Venus. His mind-bending struggle to figure that out is a harrowing journey through the possibilities: Was the Captain murdered? Did he commit suicide? Or were alien beings responsible for his demise? The answer, as Evans will eventually discover, is far more terrifying than anything he could possibly imagine.

Based on the award winning book by Barry N. Malzberg, Beyond Apollo captures the eerie isolation of delving into the unknown, begs us to ask the unanswerable, and marks the separation between the real, unreal and surreal.”

Pre-production artwork for Beyond Apollo. Image credit: BeyondApollo.com

First published in 1972, Beyond Apollo is Malzberg’s most famous novel and in 1973 became the first recipient of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel.

The cast list for Beyond Apollo is still developing, but so far includes Scott Speedman (Underworld), Bill Pullman (Independence Day) and Ali Larter (Heroes). The movie has been in development for several years but has lacked sufficient funding. Now, with the backing of sales company Stealth Media Group, principal photography is due to begin this fall. Expect a 2014 release.

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