Roland Emmerich preparing low-budget sci-fi film, THE ZONE

Andrew Johnson

by: Andrew Johnson
November 1st, 2010

Roland Emmerich directing a film

I’m not sure the words “low-budget” and “Roland Emmerich” have been used in the same sentence for over a decade, but it seems like that might start to become more common when talking about the German filmmaker. Though he made a name for himself directing big-budget action extravaganzas like INDEPENDENCE DAY and 2012, his next few projects promise to be a bit more understated.  

His next film, ANONYMOUS, is a political thriller set in the 16th century, and Heat Vision reports he’ll follow that with a low-budget alien invasion movie called THE ZONE. Hit the jump for the full story.

How low budget? Around $5 million. That’s even less than the upcoming effects-heavy SKYLINE, which has attracted a lot of media buzz due to its $20 million price tag. Reports suggest it will be a handheld “found footage” film in the vein of CLOVERFIELD and QUARANTINE, with relatively unknown actors and improv-based shooting style. All we know so far is that it’s about aliens, and there have been two characters cast so far: a “haggard journalist in his 40s or 50s” and a “black man in his early to mid 20′s, the cameraman.”  

French writer-director Guillaume Tunzini is writing the script, with Loucas George signed on to produce. The film is scheduled to begin shooting mid-November.

I’ll admit, while I’m normally a big fan of handicam mockumentary-style films like THE LAST EXORCISM and PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, I’m skeptical of this one. Emmerich isn’t known for working with great scripts or subtle directing, so I’m wondering if he’ll be able to channel his more ambitious impulses into a lower-budget project. Plus, Hollywood’s last attempt at a “found footage” alien invasion movie resulted in the abysmal THE FOURTH KIND. But I do have a soft spot for INDEPENDENCE DAY, so who knows, maybe Emmerich can provide us with another fun invasion flick.  

What do you think? Are you excited about yet another film about aliens if Roland Emmerich is on board?

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