There’s very little information out there on Barry Levinson’s new thriller The Bay, which will release sometime in 2011. The first mention of The Bay was an announcement via a “tweet” from Production Weekly early in August, in which the film as billed as an “indie sci-fi thriller” titled Isopod.
There was much speculation on whether the film would actually involve isopods, which are unassuming crustaceans. Pillbugs, aka “roly-polys” are the best-known examples, but most are small ocean and beach dwellers. There are “giant” isopods living in the deep sea, but even though they look a bit frightening they are only about a foot long. There are also parasitic versions which suck fish blood. A horde of these crawling out of the water and attacking humans would have made for an interesting thriller.
Since the first announcement, we’ve learned a little more about The Bay. It’s possible that the working title was just that and isopods aren’t actually involved, although zombies may be. Apparently, it’s an ecological horror film involving the outbreak of a virus in the fictional town of Claridge, Maryland, on the Chesapeake Bay. Written by Michael Wallach, the film will unfold from the perspective of video camera and cell phone footage, and frantic 911 calls as the viral outbreak spreads.
Despite the Chesapeake setting, filming is taking place from September to October in Georgetown, South Carolina (which is located next to another estuary, Winyah Bay). During extra auditions, casting directors were searching for amputees, a set of one year old twins, and expert blue crab eaters, of which there is no shortage in the Georgetown area. One scene will involve a traffic jam on a bridge over the bay, but other than that details are sketchy.
Oren Peli, of Paranormal Activity, is among the film’s producers, so the pieced-together footage idea is nothing new to him. Barry Levinson has directed a wide range of films, from 1982’s Diner to Wag the Dog (1997), but with the exception of 1998’s mediocre Sphere, sci-fi horror is not his thing.
Nevertheless, The Bay sounds promising and many sci-fi and horror aficionados are anxious for more details to emerge.