President Barack Obama may not be interested in voyages to the Moon because, as he famously put it, Buzz Aldrin has already been there. But a number of voyage to the Moon film projects in development suggest that Hollywood is interested.
Two projects under development are based on the premise that there were secret Apollo missions to the Moon that took place after the official last voyage to the Moon, Apollo 17, that took place in December of 1972.
“Apollo 18” is being produced by Timur Bekmambetov and directed by Trevor Caewood. “Apollo 18” is in the style of “found footage” as with “The Blair Witch Project” and is based on the premise that a secret Apollo flight was sent and found aliens on the lunar surface. “Apollo 18” is being distributed by the Weinstein Company with a release date of March 4, 2011.
“Dark Moon” is being produced by Warner Brothers and will be directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi. “Dark Moon” has the premise that the Apollo program did not stop with Apollo 17, but went covert. There will also be some “found footage” about what “really happened” during the mission of Apollo 17. No release date has been announced.
Regarding these two lunar projects, one wonders how one keeps Apollo missions to the Moon secret. They would not have been launched from the Kennedy Space Center since a Saturn V tends to be conspicuous and besides the two launch pads were converted to space shuttle launches long ago. My guess is that there is a secret base in the South Pacific.
Of course both projects, which seem to involve meeting space aliens on the Moon, has every potential for cheesiness. However the idea that we never stopped going to the Moon is at least interesting.
Possible future voyages to the Moon have not been neglected. There is an as yet unnamed lunar voyage project that is said to be under development with Doug Liman (“Mr. and Mrs. Smith”, “Jumper”) possibly in line to direct. The script has undergone all sorts of iterations with Marc Bowden (“Blackhawk Down”), Dan Mazeau (Bruno), Simon Kinberg (“Sherlock Holmes”) and most recently Ken Nolan (also “Black Hawk Down”.) The story is apparently about a private expedition to the Moon and involves an attempt to start a lunar colony. No date has been set when the film will start shooting.
Except for “Apollo 18” there is no firm news when or if these films will hit theaters. Movie development in Hollywood is an arcane thing, which often is influenced by the whims of directors, actors, and even the third auxiliary hairdresser, the availability of money, how similar films did in the past, and even how much cocaine a studio executive has consumed on a given day.
Yet it does seem that even as the current President disdains voyages to the Moon, Hollywood is thinking that there might be some money to be made in that regard.
In the spirit of full disclosure, the writer is the author of two Moon voyage novels, “Children of Apollo” and “The Last Moonwalker” and both would make excellent film projects.
Sources: Will Timur’s Apollo 18 Put a Crimp in Dark Moon‘s Plans?, Coming Soon, November 7th, 2010
Warner Bros. Picks Up ‘Dark Moon’ Spec, Hollywood Reporter, Borys Kit, October 18th, 2010
Doug Liman’s Untitled Moon Project Still Actively Developing?, Ethan Anderton, First Showing, November 1st, 2010
Children of Apollo, Mark R. Whittington, Amazon Digital Service, 2002
The Last Moonwalker and Other Stories, Mark R. Whittington, Amazon Digital Services, 2009