On top of producing The New Regency thriller The Darkest Hour and directing Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter for 20th Century Fox, it’s now been announced that the Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov has quietly been the creative mind behind a new thriller, Apollo 18. Deadline reports the Weinstein Company have agreed to fully finance the picture.
But what is Apollo 18? In the 1970s, NASA shut down the Apollo 18 moon mission but some skeptics believe that the mission actually did happen — that it was all a cover up. The movie incorporates this conspiracy theory and alien life into its thriller-based plotline. Trevor Cawood, who worked on the visual effects of the Matrix sequels, will direct from a script by Brian Miller; Bekmambetov will produce. The movie, which has been production for some time, is already slated for a March 4, 2011 release date.
Update: The Weinstein Company have sent out a press release. Hit the jump to check it out:
With the recent discovery of Russian film footage that suggests that America’s Apollo 18 space mission actually did occur, despite being canceled by President Nixon in the early 1970s, The Weinstein Company (TWC) announced today that it has acquired the rights to a provocative new film project, titled Apollo 18. To be directed by Trevor Cawood from a screenplay by Brian Miller, the documentary-style sci-fi thriller will be produced by Russian filmmaker Timur Behmambetov (Wanted, 9, The Darkest Hour) and Michele Wolkoff, president of development for Bekmambetov Projects, Ltd. Production has been fast-tracked to begin in December, with a wide release planned for March 4.
A quintessential Cold War story, Apollo 18 casts light on the covert and undocumented lunar mission that officially “never happened.” Bekmambetov, hired by Russia to shoot a documentary about the Russian space station, recently came across footage in its space archives that bolsters the idea that an Apollo 18 mission did, in fact, take place, and reveals startling evidence of extraterrestrial life forms. This actual footage will be part of Apollo 18, a paranormal thriller that will interpolate fact and fiction.
Screenwriter Brian Miller came to the project after winning the inaugural Astana International Action Film Festival screenplay competition in Kazakhstan, founded by Bekmambetov.
“We first became aware of Timur after his 2004 film Night Watch,” stated Harvey Weinstein. “Recently he came to us with this never-before-seen footage, apparently of the Apollo 18 space mission, and, as filmmakers, we were absolutely compelled to bring it to the screen for audiences to judge for themselves.”