Six Upcoming Original Sci-Fi Movies that Should Be on Your Radar
Between huge franchises like Star Wars and Star Trek, reboots, remakes, and book adaptations, there is a huge shortage of original sci-fi films. And it's not difficult to see why, as remakes and adaptations are much safer bets at the box office, while original movies can be extremely hit-or-miss. But for every Transcendence or Chappie, there's a District 9 or Her, and you never know which original idea is going to lead to a modern masterpiece. Here are six original sci-fi films you should be looking out for in the next couple of years (or, five legitimate films and one elaborate joke):
Passengers is the only original sci-fi film that could hope to compete with Star Wars: Rogue One, and that's entirely due to the talent. Box office sweethearts Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt star as two astronauts who have been traveling to a deep space location in suspended animation for many years. As a result of a malfunction, Pratt's character awakens 60 years early, and wakes Lawrence's character for romantic and survivalist hijinks. The script was written by Prometheus and Doctor Strange's Jon Spaihts, and Oscar-nominated Imitation Game director Morten Tyldum is attached to direct. The film will come out on December 21, 2016, just five days after Rogue One.
Unlike most original sci-fi movies, the public has already approved this original idea, as the above chilling proof-of-concept teaser became a viral sensation after it was released on the internet. The film follows a white whale-type search for the terrifying Leviathan, the "largest species mankind has ever seen," in order to harvest exotic matter from its eggs for faster-than-light travel. It comes from director Ruairi Robinson (The Last Days on Mars) and screenwriter Jim Uhls (Fight Club), and now that it has been acquired by Fox, has heavy hitters Neill Blomkamp and Simon Kinberg on board as producers. It is set to be released sometime in 2017.
THR broke the news today that Anne Hathaway will produce and star in the female-centric alien invasion comedy "The Shower." It follows a group of female friends who are at a lovely baby shower when a meteor shower hits, which turns all men into bloodthirsty aliens and drives the women to fight to save themselves and the world. It's branded as a cross between This Is the End, Attack the Block, and Bridesmaids, which sounds like a recipe for success (if they can avoid the rape and poop jokes). Screenwriter Jac Schaeffer described it as a story that is ultimately about female friendship, with a lot of ass-kicking along the way."
Untitled Zadie Smith Project
This space opera has an unusual pedigree, as it will be co-written by French arthouse filmmaker Claire Denis and Orange Prize-winning author Zadie Smith. But it should still attract a significant audience, as Robert Pattinson was just announced to star. Plot details are scarce, but we know that Pattinson will play an astronaut in a story set "beyond the solar system in a 'future that seems like the present.'" Production will start late this year or early next year, which likely means the film will come out sometime in 2017.
Backstreet Boys/*NSync Zombie Western
That pretty much says it all. Nick Carter will write and star in the post-apocalyptic drama "Dead 7" from the same studio that brought you Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!, and the cast will also include fellow Backstreet Boys Howie Dorough and A.J. McLean, as well as *NSync-er Joey Fatone. They are explicitly trying to attract hate-watchers, much like the Sharknado franchise, as well as people who just want to see 90's boy bands die. The film will come out on Syfy in the summer of 2016, but we don't condone anyone watching it.