The Sky is Falling: 20 Incoming Alien Invasion Movies

With the release of Gareth Edwards’ Monsters and The Strause Brothers’ Skyline last year, and now Battle: Los Angeles this weekend, there seems to be a newfound interest in alien invasion stories on the big screen. The thing is, these movies are just barely scratching the surface of the alien onslaught that is coming our way over the next few years. As we all know, Hollywood hits tend to spawn an infinite number of knockoffs, but in this case we seem to be headed for U.F.O. overload.

Inspired by the success of modestly budgeted sci-fi films like Cloverfield and District 9, studios are snapping up any pitches and properties that can even be remotely tied to visitors from outer space. Also, with the success of the V remake on ABC, aliens seems to be spilling over to the small screen as well. Here is a breakdown of the upcoming alien movies and TV shows that are headed our way next year, and while they may not all survive the jump to hyperspace, it’s pretty astounding to see just how many are in direct competition with each other. Impact is imminent, but when the dust settles will any of them actually be worth our time and money? Let’s take a look.


Battle: Los Angeles

Release Date: March 11, 2011
Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez
Plot Synopsis: A Marine platoon faces off against an alien invasion in Los Angeles.
Prognosis: The trailers have been very effective, although Liebesman’s directing resume is somewhat spotty. The March release date has me thinking that this will ride more on hype than anything else, but I hope I’m proven wrong.

Paul

Release Date: March 18, 2011
Director: Greg Mottola
Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Seth Rogen
Plot Synopsis: Two British comic-book geeks traveling across the U.S. encounter an alien outside Area 51.
Prognosis: Based on all the talent involved, this movie has a ton of potential, but something tells me that Pegg and Frost will not be nearly as funny without their buddy Edgar Wright in the director’s chair.

Apollo 18

Release Date: April 22, 2011
Director: Gonzalo López-Gallego
Cast: ???
Plot Synopsis: Found footage film about a government coverup of the Apollo 18 mission after aliens on the Moon discovered the crew and began to kill them off one by one.
Prognosis: The idea of a found footage horror movie made up of NASA mission tapes is cool, but production on this movie has been very rushed. My expectations are not high.

Super 8

Release Date: June 10, 2011
Director: J.J. Abrams
Cast: Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning
Plot Synopsis: Set in 1979 Ohio, a group of kids with a Super 8 camera witness the derailment of a train carrying materials from Area 51.
Prognosis: Steven Spielberg is producing the film and the early trailers have felt very reminiscent of his ’80s filmography. Although we still don’t know much about it, this is easily one of the most promising ones of the bunch.

Falling Skies

Release Date: June 2011
Creators: Robert Rodat and Steven Spielberg
Cast: Noah Wyle, Moon Bloodgood
Plot Synopsis: This show takes place after an alien race has wiped out the majority of the human population. A group of soldiers ban together to try to stand up against the alien force.
Prognosis: Spielberg’s involvement also makes this series quite intriguing, and TNT has had a lot of success with original shows like The Closer and Leverage.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Release Date: July 1, 2011
Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Tyrese Gibson
Plot Synopsis: The Autobots learn of a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the Moon, and race against the Decepticons to reach it and learn its secrets.
Prognosis: Based on the disaster that was the last Transformers film, this one is not likely to be a masterpiece either, but at the very least it should be interesting to see what Michael Bay does with 3-D.

Cowboys and Aliens

Release Date: July 29, 2011
Director: Jon Favreau
Cast: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde
Plot Synopsis: A spaceship arrives in Arizona, 1873, to take over the Earth, starting with the Wild West region. A posse of cowboys are all that stand in their way.
Prognosis: Despite the gimmicky mash-up of genres, the movie has a decent writing team behind it (including Lost show runner Damon Lindelof) and Jon Favreau at the helm, not to mention Harrison Ford. It could definitely end up being a surprise hit this summer.

The Darkest Hour

Release Date: August 5, 2011
Director: Chris Gorak
Cast: Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby, Max Minghella
Plot Synopsis: In Russia, a group of kids struggle to survive after an alien invasion.
Prognosis: After Chris Gorak’s directorial debut Right At Your Door, I’m very interested to see what he can do with a decent budget. Timur Bekmambetov is also producing, which helps put this high on my list of most anticipated alien movies.

The Thing

Release Date: Oct. 14, 2011
Director: Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.
Cast: Joel Edgerton, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Plot Synopsis: At an Antarctica research site, paranoia spreads like an epidemic among a group of researchers as they’re infected, one by one, by a mystery from another planet.
Prognosis: Essentially a remake of John Carpenter’s 1982 horror classic under the guise of being a prequel, this one has potential although rumoured reshoots and endless delays seem to have cast a bit of a shadow over the film. The screenplay was written by Ronald D. Moore of Battlestar Galactica fame, which should count for something… right?

Area 51

Release Date: 2011
Director: Oren Peli
Cast: Sandra Staggs, Ben Rovner
Plot Synopsis: Terror strikes when reporters visit a secret base that houses extraterrestrials.
Prognosis: Paranormal Activity director Oren Peli is making a handheld horror film set in Area 51 itself. It should be interesting to see if he can repeat the success of his previous film while incorporating a sci-fi element.

Attack the Block

Release Date: 2011
Director: Joe Cornish
Cast: Nick Frost, Jodie Whittaker
Plot Synopsis: A teen gang in South London defending their block from an alien invasion.
Prognosis: Coming from the producers of Shaun of the Dead, the recently released trailer for this film makes it look both tense and humourous. It looks great, but a U.S. release date still has not been set.

Battleship

Release Date: May 18, 2012
Director: Peter Berg
Cast: Liam Neeson, Alexander Skarsgård, Taylor Kitsch, Rihanna
Plot Synopsis: A fleet of ships is forced to do battle with an armada of unknown origins in order to discover and thwart their destructive goals.
Prognosis: Yes, it’s the first of many potential board game movies, and somehow they managed to shoehorn in aliens too. I’m assuming it will be terrible, but I’ve liked a lot of Peter Berg’s previous films and he might bring something interesting to the table.

Men In Black III

Release Date: May 25, 2012
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Cast: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones
Plot Synopsis: When the world is threatened by an evil alien, Agent Jay travels back in time to 1969, where he teams up with the younger Agent Kay to stop an evil villain named Boris from destroying the world in the future.
Prognosis: With Jemaine Clement and Sharlto Copley both playing aliens, and Josh Brolin playing a younger version of Tommy Lee Jones, this could be pretty good. Etan Cohen (Tropic Thunder) also wrote the first draft of the screenplay.

Prometheus

Release Date: June 8, 2012
Director: Ridley Scott
Cast: Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender
Plot Synopsis: Originally developed as a prequel to the Alien films, it has since become a completely original science-fiction epic.
Prognosis: Ridley Scott is returning to the realm of one of his greatest films, and the project has a script by Damon Lindelof not to mention a fantastic cast. What’s not to be excited about?

Pacific Rim

Release Date: 2012
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Cast: TBA
Plot Synopsis: Set in a future in which malevolent creatures threaten the earth, the planet must band together and use highly advanced technology to eradicate the growing menace.
Prognosis: Written by Travis Beacham (Clash of the Titans), this project may sound a bit generic, but now that Guillermo del Toro has signed on to direct, it will immediately have a ton of credibility behind it.

Elysium

Release Date: 2012
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Cast: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley
Plot Synopsis: Aliens come to earth to do battle with man kind so they find peace on earth and live like human beings. (?)
Prognosis: The plot synopsis seems a bit sketchy, but it is said to take place 100 years in the future, and will contain some social allegory like District 9. Production designer Syd Mead (Blade Runner) is involved, and with Sharlto Copley once again reteaming with Blomkamp, I’m definitely on board for this.

Dark Moon

Release Date: 2012
Director: Olatunde Osunsanmi
Cast: TBA
Plot Synopsis: A black-ops mission to the moon has unintended and disturbing consequences.
Prognosis: It sounds like a direct copy of Apollo 18, right down to the found footage format. Considering that it comes from the director of The Fourth Kind, it probably won’t be an improvement.

Year 12

Release Date: 2012
Director: Fredrik Bond
Cast: TBA
Plot Synopsis: Takes place 12 years after aliens have invaded Earth. Set in Manhattan, the story follows an underwater uranium miner who is recruited by the human resistance to smuggle uranium in his blood so they can use it to blow up the alien mothership.
Prognosis: Fredrik Bond is an acclaimed commercial director who was previously attached to the Hack/Slash movie. There’s not much else to say at the moment, but it’s based on a spec script by Edward Ricourt.

Panic Attack!

Release Date: TBA
Director: Federico Alvarez
Cast: TBA
Plot Synopsis: Based on a YouTube short featuring giant robots and UFOs attacking.
Prognosis: Uruguayan filmmaker Fede Alvarez was signed by Sam Raimi’s Ghost House Pictures to essentially make a feature length version of his short film. It’s still too early to tell what might be in store, but hey, the short was pretty cool.

E.D.F. (Earth Defense Force)

Release Date: 2013
Director: Pierre Morel
Cast: TBA
Plot Synopsis: Three alien fighters attack the planet, leaving the governments of the planet humiliated. Earth’s leaders respond by forming an alliance to create a fighting force in preparation for the next larger alien attack.
Prognosis: Sam Raimi is producing, and Pierre Morel (Taken) is directing from a script by Andrew W. Marlowe (Hollow Man, Air Force One). No relation to the video game of the same name, unfortunately.

Pixels

Release Date: TBA
Director: TBA
Cast: TBA
Plot Synopsis: Based on a YouTube short where 8-bit video game characters invade New York City and turn everything into pixels.
Prognosis: It might be a bit of a stretch to call this one an alien invasion film, but Space Invaders does figure heavily in the short so why not? Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison is turning it into a Ghostbusters style action-comedy with Tim Herlihy (Bedtime Stories) writing the script. I have no idea how they will expand the concept to 90 minutes, but I’m definitely game (no pun intended).

Michael Bay’s Confidential Alien Project

Release Date: TBA
Director: TBA
Cast: TBA
Plot Synopsis: Described as Cloverfield meets Paranormal Activity.
Prognosis: Paramount picked this up as a pitch from newcomer Bobby Glickert (Road to Moloch). Michael Bay will produce through Platinum Dunes, but it sounds like it may not necessarily be a big budget special effects extravaganza. I’m slightly curious, but the fact is I haven’t been a fan of many previous Platinum Dunes productions.

Alien Sleeper Cell

Release Date: TBA
Director:
Cast: TBA
Plot Synopsis: Unknown
Prognosis: The title hints at a scenario similar to V, but not much else is currently known about this film from one of the producers of District 9 (the one who isn’t Peter Jackson).

So there you have it… over 20 upcoming movies about aliens and alien invasions. There have also been rumours about potential sequels to Cloverfield, District 9 and Predators, but so far nothing official has been announced. I hope you don’t get sick of little green men anytime soon.

Are there any others we missed? Which ones are you most looking forward to?

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  • rjdelight

    I thought there were a few, but 20? Jesus.

  • kyri

    I am on board for every single one of them!!!!!!!!!!

    I love Sci-fi and I am especially on board for the Ridley Scott one..

    Oh.. And Sean you forgot probably the most important of the bunch.

    Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity with George Clooney

    Synopsis:

    “the story follows a woman as she attempts to make her way back to earth after a satellite crash sets off a chain reaction of further crashes.”

    Prediction: BETTER THAN CHILDREN OF MEN

  • Niklas

    I have no problems with this. More alien movies!!!

  • http://www.seandwyer.net Sean

    I could be wrong, but I don’t think there has been any mention of aliens in Gravity as of yet. But I am definitely looking forward to it.

  • rob

    pretty decent sci-fi list tbh! only a couple on there that im scepticle about

    the Year 12 premise sounds interesting i hadnt heard of that

  • http://www.filmcrown.com Filmcrown

    Battle: Los Angles feels a lot like Independence Day, what do you think would be better, http://www.filmcrown.com/battle/1767/Independence-Day-VS-Battle–Los-Angles

  • jay

    think you may have left out Independence Day 2 and 3

  • http://deven-science.livejournal.com/ Deven Science

    Iron Sky is an invasion movie that I’ve been looking forward to for a couple of years now. It’s not exactly an alien invasion film, as the invaders are Nazis that escaped in rockets to the far side of the moon near the end of WWII. And now, all these years later, they’re back!

    It looks like it’ll be fun in a Sky Captain kind of way.

    http://www.ironsky.net/site/

  • thiellsboy

    Thanks for the effort putting together this great list. You should also include I am Number four and the animated comedy Mars Needs Moms, both out now (3/13/11). I also agree Iron Sky should be included and it looks like it could be great if it is well produced.

  • Storm 1

    EDF, EDF, EDF!!! Wait!!! No relation to the game of the same name?! That sucks! Anyway, I’ll be waiting for Elysium which sounds pretty cool, along with Prometheus and Pacific Rim… Battle: Los Angeles was freaking awesome, its “Military Sci-Fi”, it was almost like: Black Hawk Down meets War of the Worlds (which is really good)

  • lalala

    I’ve heard some conspirators say a lot of these alien movies are being funded by the government to prepare us for what’s about to come. Could be a bunch of bull but still an interesting thing to think about!!

  • Kyle

    hey lalala, we’ll see how that plays out. you just might be right.

  • DougK

    Nothing new under the sun. I mean, how many movies will people make about the same thing??? (Ditto zombie flicks.) Well, with Guillermo del Toro and Neil Blomkamp, maybe some of them will stand out.

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