Roland Emmerich Planning a Found Footage Alien Invasion Movie

What does it mean when Roland Emmerich, a man who is known for creating some of the biggest and most expensive special effects movies ever made, has decided to shoot his next movie on the cheap? His last film, 2012, didn’t make back its $200 million budget domestically, although the insane $600 million foreign box office more than covered the difference. Now this week we have learned that he is reportedly returning to the alien invasion genre that gave him his most successful movie to date (Independence Day), and instead of amping up the effects he is going the Cloverfield route and scaling back instead. Is this just capitalizing on a trend, or is it a sign of the times?

According to Heat Vision, Emmerich’s next movie is a found footage flick called The Zone that will be largely improvised by a cast of unknowns. The two main characters are reportedly a middle-aged journalist and a young black cameraman. The budget is ridiculously small, especially for someone with Emmerich’s background. It is said to be set at just $5 million, which is less than Skyline was shot for, and probably less than the craft services cost on 2012.

Emmerich also seems to be following in J.J. Abrams’ footsteps by trying to keep everything top secret, and apparently he is doing a good job at it (last we heard, he was developing an adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation). The Zone will start shooting in mid-November, and will be distributed by Sony.

On a somewhat related note, Warner Brothers recently picked up a spec for another found footage movie from The Fourth Kind director Olatunde Osunsanmi. It’s called Dark Moon, and it will consist of footage from a black ops manned mission to the moon that was conducted under the cloak of secrecy.

Are you excited to see what Roland Emmerich can do with the limitations of a small budget, or are you getting sick of found footage films?



  • rjdelight

    Low budget found footage flicks are cool, letting up and coming filmmakers break into the industry, but I don’t know how I feel about the established ones having a go at it, especially someone like Emmerich. I like my Emmerich flicks to be big, loud popcorn extravaganzas.

    At the end of the day a good movie is a good movie, so if Emmerich can pull this off more power to him, but I’d like to see him stick to the big budget blockbusters. What the heck happened with those Independence Day sequels??

  • Yeah I kinda wonder if it’s going to be connected to Independence Day in some way. Although it’s written by someone else I think.

  • Gil

    I’m still waiting on that Super 8.

  • rjdelight

    I can’t believe this movie is already cancelled.

  • ROB

    ROLLAND EMMERICH…….. i love everything that u do
    with all my heart… your one of the main reasons
    why i am screenwriter… but this is big mistake…
    don’t even get me started @ @ @ independence day 2
    + independence day 3 %> can you say – extremely big
    flop & extremely big flop – if you must continue
    with these two films {{which i will strongly agree
    4 u 2 do}} don’t even try any this((less than few
    years later \ little more than few years later)) –
    it is now going on twodecades later….. here’s some
    movies that should belong to you ::::::> the bionic
    six ,, thundercats ,, herculoids ,, gargoyles ,,
    voltron [[it is destiny ~ YOU + MICHAEL BAY ~ team
    up for something ~~~ VOLTRON meets TRANSFORMERS]]
    the gummi bears ||yesssss,i
    actually,said this,2 you ~ think of,what YOU,outta
    all people ~ could do for,something so,damn stupid||