Sunday, June 17, 2012

UFO movie news round-up (18 June, 2012)

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

Jupiter Ascending

Channing Tatum has confirmed to MTV that he will star in the Wachowski brothers’ Jupiter Ascending, which is about "higher forms of life [who] are watching us... from other worlds." Mila Kunis is set to play a Russian immigrant "who is busily scrubbing toilets for a living. Unbeknownst to her, she actually possesses the same perfect genetic makeup as the Queen of the Universe and is therefore a threat to her otherwise immortal rule."

MTV says that Tatum's character is “an evolved-being bounty hunter sent to kill Kunis' character, but instead falls in love with her and attracts the ire of his genetically superior contemporaries in the process.”

What the hell are the Wachowski’s sniffing?

Michael Bay’s Aliens

Paramount Pictures has postponed the planned release of Michael Bay’s upcoming Ninja Turtles reboot. Originally set for release on Christmas Day, 2013, the movie’s opening has now been pushed back by 10 weeks to May 16, 2014. The (controversially alien) turtles themselves are expected to be motion capture CGI, using the same techniques employed in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Michael Bay has also told Hero Complex that the next Transformers movie will be his last. Incidentally, Transformers: The Ride 3D opened at Universal Studios last month, with Steven Spielberg in attendance. View the opening here...

Ender’s Game

There have been a number of updates in the production log for upcoming alien invasion epic Ender’s Game, which looks set to be a technologically groundbreaking movie. It stars Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley and is produced by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (who, as writers, brought us Transformers and Cowboys and Aliens). View the Ender’s Game production log here.


Photos have emerged of Tom Cruise on location in New York for the shoot of his upcoming alien invasion movie Oblivion (formerly titled Horizons). Apparently the movie involves New Yoik cops as well as aliens. View the pics here.

Hollywood’s Aliens: Prototypes for the Real Thing?

SETI’s Seth Shostak contemplates the realism of Hollywood’s alien movies.

Alien Contact: Movie Smackdown

Bryce Zabel’s pits numerous alien contact movies against one another to see which ones emerge victorious. It makes for fascinating reading and provokes great debates. Check it out. 

‘Battleship’ Sank with Weight of Own Brilliance

Battleship: Too good for its own good.

That’s right. Peter Berg’s alien invasion movie / Navy recruitment ad failed at the US box-office not because it was in any way shit, but because it was, in fact, just too damn visionary and ambitious. Berg – whose 209-million-dollar movie made just 62 million in the US and is struggling to reach 300 million worldwide – told the Huffington Post recently: “I have a movie in theaters right now which has obviously underperformed in many ways... But the concept is so big and powerful, and the money is so big and so powerful, that the movie is going to run away with itself.”

We know where you’re coming from, Peter. Because everyone knows that big-budget alien invasion movies - such a rarity for Hollywood - are always a huge risk at the box-office. Oh, wait a minute...

Box-Office: Avengers, MIB 3 & Prometheus

Still on release at the international box-office, The Avengers (or Avengers Assemble) has so far taken 1.4 billion dollars worldwide, making it the third most successful movie of all time (not adjusted for inflation). Men in Black 3, meanwhile, with a production budget of $225 million, has so far raked in some $544 million worldwide, and the oh-so-controversial Prometheus, with a budget of $125 million and a non-family-friendly ‘R’ rating, is now approaching $220 million worldwide.

More Prometheus

On the subject of Prometheus, Ridley Scott’s long-awaited movie has, of course, divided the critics, with much vitriol being spewed at its screenplay. Notably, Bryce Zabel was bitterly disappointed, stating that, while “Scott’s direction of Prometheus is a mastery of design,” the idiocy of the movie’s characters is “chronic”:

“Anyone who would spend a trillion dollars on a hot-shot spacecraft like Prometheus and send it out on the most important mission ever conceived with a crew of morons like this one, well, it just boggles the mind. People in this film simply do not behave rationally — not toward each other, not toward the mission, not at all. Most films can be forgiven a time or two when the characters veer off wrongly in order to accomplish a plot point, but the problem in Prometheusis chronic.”

Read the rest of Bryce’s review over at

As for Prometheus’ central concept that human ancestry can be traced to the stars, “It's not such a crazy idea,” says TimeEntertainment, “research has long supported the theory that life originated elsewhere.” Read all about it in: Prometheus 101: The Science Behind Ridley Scott's Vision of Aliens Populating Earth.

PROMETHEUS SPOILERS AHEAD! Scroll down no further if you’ve not yet seen the film...

Many cinemagoers have begun to pick holes in Prometheus’ admittedly infuriating plot. I’m not sure the imaginary exchange below (via Enchanted Mitten) – funny though it is – quite ‘gets’ what really unfolded in the movie, but it effectively sums-up the post-Prometheus debate now raging on fan forums across the web (again, major spoilers here)...

And, finally, here are some cool stills from deleted scenes that will almost certainly appear in a DVD director’s cut of Prometheus later this year (for more like this, head on over to

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