25 January 2013

UFO movie news round-up (25 Jan. 2013)

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

J.J. Abrams to direct Star Wars Episode VII

J.J. Abrams is headed for a galaxy far, far away. Yes indeed, he has signed on to direct the next instalment of the iconic Star Wars franchise.

According to The Wrap, Abrams – who directed the UFO movie Super 8 (2011), as well as the hugely successful Star Trek reboot (2009) and its upcoming sequel (2013) – will direct Star Wars: Episode VII for Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm. Apparently, Ben Affleck was also in contention.

Okay, so the Star Wars films don’t exactly qualify as ‘UFO movies’, but to many fans of the broader sci-fi genre, Abrams helming a new Star Wars flick is pant-wettingly exciting news.

Star Wars: Episode VII is scheduled for release in 2015. Michael Arndt is writing the script. Disney and Lucasfilm are planning a new trilogy with a new movie coming our way every other year.

Aliens vs. Robots in new short film, ‘R’ha’

A new sci-fi short titled R'ha calls to mind Ancient Astronaut theory with its alien protagonist bearing more than a passing resemblance to depictions of the Egyptian sun god, Ra. The movie took 22-year-old Kaleb Lechowski seven months to create... 


‘Dark Skies’ movie: new infographic

Dimension Films has released a new infographic as part of the marketing campaign for its upcoming alien horror flick Dark Skies (which, once again, I feel compelled to point out, stole its title from another UFO-themed production)...

According to its official blurb, “Dark Skies is a psychological thriller about a suburban couple whose lives become a nightmare when a terrifying alien presence enters their home each night to prey upon their children. Increasingly isolated from skeptical friends and neighbors, the couple is forced to take matters into their own hands to save their family.”

Keri Russell and Josh Hamilton star in the February 22, 2013 release.

‘The Host’: new featurettes

Two new featurettes for the upcoming body-snatching alien movie The Host, which is based on Stephanie Meyer’s book and will be taking over multiplexes this year from March 29...


Humans, vampires and zombies vs. aliens 

Mackenzie Davis (Breathe In), Nicholas Braun (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) and Josh Fadem (The Eric Andre Show) are in talks to star in Sony Pictures’ genre mash-up movie The Kitchen Sink.

According to Variety, the story – which is said to be in the vein of Zombieland – “follows a pair of teens (Davis and Braun) who form an unlikely alliance with vampires and zombies in order to take on an alien army.”

Matt Tolmach is producing and Robbie Pickering will direct from a script by Oren Uziel. The movie is expected to shoot this summer in time for a 2014 release.

Carrey or Sandler to star in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’?

The Latino Review reports that Marvel is eying Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler for its upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Although it's not clear which role Marvel has in mind for the comedy superstars, the obvious answer would be the loud-mouthed Rocket Raccoon.

Wes Bentley, Chris Lowell and Cam Gigandet are apparently also on Marvel’s shortlist for the Peter Quill/Star-Lord character.

Guardians of the Galaxy will be directed by James Gunn (Super, Slither) and has been written by Chris McCoy and Nicole Periman. The superhero team consists of Star-Lord, Drax the Destroyer, Groot, Rocket Raccoon and Gamora.

The movie is set to shoot this summer in London for an August 1, 2014 release date.

Terrifying (possibly UFO-related) real-life horror story headed for the big screen

Readers well-versed in paranormal-lore may already be familiar with the Dyatlov Pass Incident, which resulted in the grisly deaths of nine ski hikers in the northern Ural Mountains on the night of February 2, 1959. If you’re not familiar with this case – which some have suggested has a possible UFO connection – you’ll find a detailed examination of it over at Mysterious Universe. For a briefer summary, watch the video below...


This could make for one of the most terrifying movies ever – a thought which obviously has occurred to director Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger), who has only gone and shot the damn thing already. The Dyatlov Pass Incident is due for release in Russia on 28 February this year (no US release date has yet been set). Check out the poster...

Harlin says: “I was fascinated by this story, which remains one of the great unsolved mysteries of modern paranormal lore. The facts, the script, and the very dramatic setting convinced me that there is a thrilling movie there, just waiting to rivet audiences.”

Harlin’s movie will not focus on the original ill-fated Russian hikers, but instead will be an updated story following a group of American college students who decide to retrace the footsteps of the Russians in an attempt to discover what happened to them. The official blurb reads, in part:

“Present Day: Five ambitious American college students are issued a grant to return to the site of the original events in the belief that they can uncover and document the truth of what happened at Dyatlov Pass. But what they find is more shocking than anything they could have imagined. Their trek through the Ural Mountains, retracing the steps of that ill-fated journey, is plagued by strange and increasingly terrifying phenomena, all of which suggest that in spite of their desolate surroundings, they are not alone. The forces behind the Dyatlov Pass Incident have been waiting for them.”


  1. The Dyatlov Pass movie sounds intriguing. Let's hope they don't end up 'Blair-witching' it ;)

    1. I agree that found-footage movies are really starting to become a pain in the ass. But I hope that wasn't intended as a slur against The Blair Witch Project?? One of my all time favorite horror movies! I was talking about it to someone only today and I scared the bejesus out of myself! :)

    2. Would you believe that I've never seen it?

      My beef is indeed with all the movies who were bent on exploiting the 'found footage + shaky-ass camera' format.

    3. Crikey! You have to see it, my friend. Though I fear that the billion found-footage movies that followed it may diminish its primal terror somewhat if you're coming to it fresh in 2013. Some people will tell you it's not remotely scary. They have no imagination (with apologies to readers who don't find it scary)!

    4. Not being a fan of the horror movie genre, I nonetheless say with no hesitation whatsoever that The Blair Witch Project was absolutely brilliant. In order to more fully appreciate its value, I would recommend one familiarize them self with such details as the way it came to exist and its shoestring budget.

      Another point of interest is the manner its limited cast camped. It is truly an interesting production from many points of view.

      I would certainly say that far and away the most clever aspect of the film is that Blair Witch contains virtually no special effects. As a matter of fact, there is not a single shot of a witch. It masterfully and brilliantly uses the most effective FX yet devised: imagination.

  2. Star Wars VII: The Lens Flare Strikes Back

    1. Haha! Yes, J.J. does love his lens flares. But I'm hoping he'll rein that in for Star Wars to make his film in-keeping with the existing 'house style' of the franchise, which is pretty old-school (even in the lamentable prequels, despite thier grotestque over-use of CGI).