It’s nothing new in Hollywood to have multiple similarly-themed movies in production at the same time, but with this latest rash of alien invasion flicks, the competition between studios is getting ugly. Last week we posted a trailer for Skyline, a relatively low budget movie from the Strause Brothers (Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem) that seemed to come out of nowhere to build some decent buzz at this year’s Comic-Con. It appears that Sony was caught off guard as well, and they are threatening legal action against the movie because it could diminish the box office numbers for their own alien invasion movie Battle: Los Angeles, which is due to hit theatres some four months later.
Normally this would be kind of an empty threat, because as we all know, these kinds of copycat situations happen all the time in Hollywood. The one thing that makes this a bit different is the fact that the Strause Brothers also worked on the visual effects for Battle: Los Angeles as well. They own the visual effects house Hydraulx, and failed to inform Sony that they were working on an alien invasion movie of their own.
Sony is currently trying to discern whether or not their visual effects work on Battle: Los Angeles helped them to get Skyline made on such a tight budget, whether it be through inspiration, appropriation or access to equipment. It sounds like it may be difficult to prove, however, and a rep for the Strause Brothers has already called the claims “baseless”. Who knows what the end result will be, but if they’re just concerned about having direct competition, there are plenty of other alien invasion movies coming out next year as well. Skyline hits theatres on November 12th, 2010, while Battle: Los Angeles is scheduled for release on March 11th, 2011. Which one are you more interested in?