Wednesday, March 27, 2013

‘The Fourth Kind’ director will tackle aliens again in ‘Eden’

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

The writer/director of the controversial alien abduction horror The Fourth Kind, Olatunde Osunsanmi (pictured), is set to tackle aliens once again in Eden, his original sci-fi tale for Gold Circle Productions.

According to, “the storyline takes place in a world where aliens have enslaved humanity. Survivors follow an Underground Railroad-like path called "The Rail" in the hopes of winning their freedom.”

Paul Brooks will produce, with Guy Danella and Scott Niemeyer serving as executive producers. 

No release date has been set.

‘Independence Day’ sequels confirmed, story details revealed

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

ID Forever Part I and ID Forever Part II will see aliens from original movie return for second invasion.

Humanity will fight back using anti-gravity technology recovered from the aliens.

Bill Pullman to reprise his role as President Whitmore. Will Smith not returning.

Director Roland Emmerich has confirmed that not one, but two sequels to his iconic 1996 alien invasion movie Independence Day are now in active development. ID Forever Part I and ID Forever Part II willtake place roughly 20 years after the original, when a distress call sent by the first wave of aliens finally brings reinforcements to Earth.

“The humans knew that one day the aliens would come back,” Emmerich tells Entertainment Weekly, “and they know that the only way you can really travel in space is through wormholes. So for the aliens, it could take two or three weeks, but for us that’s 20 or 25 years.”

Apparently, Emmerich has been busy working with an art department on the look of his new IDworld. “It’s a changed world,” he says. “It’s like parallel history. [Humans] have harnessed all this alien technology. We don’t know how to duplicate it because it’s organically-grown technology, but we know how to take an antigravity device and put it in a human airplane.”

Fans of the original movie may be disappointed to learn that Will Smith will not be returning as Captain Steven Hiller for either of the sequels, although Bill Pullman has already confirmed that he will reprise his role as President Whitmore.

Emmerich tells EW that his new ID films will revolve around a younger cast of characters, which will include Captain Hiller’s (Smith’s) stepson, Dylan (originally played by Ross Bagley). The director also says that his first sequel will end on a cliffhanger: “The first one ends on a little success, but only enough to give the humans hope. And then in the second one they free themselves again [from the aliens].”

The scripts for both sequels are being written by James Vanderbilt of the famous Vanderbilt family – the seventh richest family in history. James’ grandfather was Donald C. Platten, the former Chairman and Chief Executive of Chemical Bank – once the third largest bank in the United States.

No release dates have yet been set for the Independence Day sequels, though 2015 and 2016 seem likely.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

'Ender's Game': first poster for epic alien invasion movie

Silver Screen Saucers

Summit Entertainmenthas released the first poster for Ender's Game, the hotly anticipated big screen adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s bestselling sci-fi novel...

The film – which stars Asa Butterfield, Ben Kingsley, Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin, and Viola Davis – hits theaters and IMAX on November 1. It’s plot reads as follows:

In the near future, a hostile alien race called the Formics have attacked Earth. If not for the legendary heroics of International Fleet Commander Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley), all would have been lost. In preparation for the next attack, the highly esteemed Colonel Hyrum Graff (Harrison Ford) and the International Military are training only the best young minds to find the future

Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a shy but strategically brilliant boy, is recruited to join the elite. Arriving at Battle School, Ender quickly and easily masters increasingly difficult challenges and simulations, distinguishing himself and winning respect amongst his peers. Ender is soon ordained by Graff as the military
s next great hope, resulting in his promotion to Command School. Once there, hes trained by Mazer Rackham himself to lead his fellow soldiers into an epic battle that will determine the future of Earth and save the human race.”
Hailee Steinfeld and Asa Butterfield in Ender's Game (2013).

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Disney and NASA to explore “Goldilocks” planet in new 3D IMAX film

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

IMAX Corporation and Walt Disney Studios today announcedan agreement to produce and distribute a new epic 3D documentary from veteran IMAX director Toni Myers.

IMAX and Disney previously have worked together on the distribution of a number of high-profile films, including Fantasia 2000 and the recent Oz The Great and Powerful, although this marks the first collaboration between the two companies in a production capacity.

Produced in cooperation with NASA, the upcoming space-themed documentary, which is still untitled, will use IMAX's extremely high-resolution photography and videography to offer "breathtaking, illuminating views of our home planet from space, exploring the astonishing changes that have occurred on Earth in just the past several decades."

The film will also explore "mankind's future on and off the planet... while also travelling light-years to other star systems to ponder the possibilities of 'Goldilocks,' an Earth-like planet." The film is expected to be released in 2015.

Ward Kimball's artwork for
Mars and Beyond (1957)
This will not be the first time Disney has teamed with space scientists to produce a documentary about life beyond Earth. In the mid-1950s the House of Mouse worked closely with famed rocket scientist and aerospace engineer Wernher von Braun on a series of ambitious documentaries about space travel and life in the universe as part of the DisneylandTV series (1954–1958).
The documentaries -- Man in Space (1955), Man and the Moon (1955), and Mars and Beyond (1957) -- were directed by the legendary Disney animator Ward Kimball, who, in his later life, claimedto have been involved in the production of a Disney documentary in the mid-1950s that was backed by the US Air Force and which was intended to acclimate the public to the reality of the UFO phenomenon and alien visitation.  

Disappointingly, the Air Force eventually decided to pull the plug on the documentary, which, according to Kimball, was set to feature real UFO footage provided by the military.
NASA also has a history of assisting filmmakers on alien-themed productions. In 1982, NASA helped Steven Spielberg with his classic alien contact movie E.T.: The Extraterrestrial, offering the filmmaker advice on how scientists would likely respond in the event of a real alien contact scenario. This collaborationshaped sections of the movie, including the scene when NASA personnel enter a sealed-off suburban home in search of E.T.
Producer Kathleen Kennedy also asked NASA what sort of planet E.T. might call home. The space agency came up with a “little green planet” populated by “little mushroom farmers.” E.T.’s biology reflected this scenario, said Kennedy – the friendly space creature being “closer to a plant than a biological human being.”

Curiously, NASA also lent its cooperation to the Disney movie Mission to Mars (2000), in which astronauts discover the remnants of an ancient civilisation on the red planet and make contact with one of its alien survivors – although NASA was keen to point out during the end credits that its cooperation and assistance “[did] not reflect an endorsement of the contents of the film.”

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

UFO movie news round-up (19 March, 2013)

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

Alien contact movie based on “factual data” seeks funding 

A new independent film about alien contact based on “factual data” is seeking public funding. According to, the movie – titled Ellipse– “is about a girl who is destined to be an astrophysicist. It's also about an Enlightenment-era woman who helped discover longitude. And it's about aliens. Plus, it's made by seasoned SF filmmakers in collaboration with scientists at the Royal Observatory Greenwich.”

The filmmakers behind Ellipse describe it as follows:

“Leo is from another world, many light years from Earth. He is a player in an intergalactic game, travelling to other worlds and planting the seed of knowledge about whether we are alone in the universe.

On Earth he has tried many times to point us toward the truth but our technology and the recipients of his 'sharing' have not been able to take the steps needed to unlock the secret.

Then he finds Ro, an exceptionally bright girl who he draws into the game. She becomes fated to study astrophysics and, as a grown up astronomer, her research leads her to identify a particular comet and send a lander to explore it…

The film begins over 400 years ago at The Queen's House. We meet Louise de Kerouaille, a mistress to Charles II. She was responsible for convincing the King to create the observatory as a way to map the stars and solve the problem of longitude, an amazing woman.

Next, the whole of Ro's study and the data seen in the film from the alien world is from NASA's Kepler mission and the amazing app called EXOPLANET. Hanno Rein, from the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton has chosen several stars with exoplanets to be discussed on screen and in the educational pack we are producing to support the film for schools, this will be written by Dr Lewis Dartnell and Marek Kukula, the Public Astronomer at the ROG…

Also, the whole film is being made in collaboration with the Royal Observatory Greenwich, home of the Prime Meridian.”

Ellipse needs £12,000 to get off the ground. If you want to support this movie, you can make a donation here.

‘Jupiter Ascending’ gets a release date

Warner Bros. has announced that its epic (and, by the sounds of it, completely bonkers) science-fiction movie Jupiter Ascending will be released on July 25, 2014.  

Directed by the Wachowski brothers (Cloud Atlas, The Matrix) and starring Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Eddie Redmayne, and Sean Bean, Jupiter Ascending “focuses on higher forms of life who are watching us from other worlds. Kunis will 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.”

‘Defiance’: SyFy’s new alien drama reviewed

The hotly-anticipated (exopolitical?) TV series Defiancewill premiere on SyFy on April 15. has already seen the first three episodes and has delivered its verdict:

“On a Syfy scale of Battlestar Galactica to Piranhaconda, Defiance is in the upper middle. It's got heaps of promise and an amazing cast… It's got a lot of heart and so far is a lot of fun.”

For the full, spoiler-free review of Defiance– which is set on Earth 30 years after a collective of five alien races arrives, turning our civilization upside down – head on over to

Monsters vs. Aliens’ TV show

DreamWorks Animation's Monsters vs. Aliensis headed to the small screen as a Nickelodeon TV series.
Based on the 2009 feature film, Monsters vs. Aliens tells the story of a team of monsters brought together to protect the Earth from interstellar threats.

The pilot episode – titled "Welcome to Area Fifty-Something" – will premiere on March 23, with the series proper beginning April 6.

Check out the series trailer here...

Monday, March 11, 2013

UFO movie news round-up (11 March, 2013)

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

Nolan’s ‘Interstellar’ gets a release date

Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures jointly announced last week that writer/director Christopher Nolan's sci-fi epic Interstellar will be will be released beginning November 7, 2014, in theaters and IMAX. The film will be co-produced and distributed by the two studios, with Paramount Pictures on domestic distribution duties and Warner Bros. Pictures handling International distribution.

Based on a script by Jonathan Nolan, and inspired by the work of theortical physicist Kip Thorne, Interstellar will be produced by Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan. Kip Thorne will executive produce. According to Paramount, “the film will depict a heroic interstellar voyage to the furthest reaches of our scientific understanding.”

Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group, said, "Christopher Nolan is truly one of the great auteurs working in film today, and we're extremely proud of our successful and ongoing collaboration with him and Emma Thomas. We are excited to be teaming with Paramount, and look forward to working with the Nolans, and producer Lynda Obst, on this extraordinary new project."

Interstellar was originally being developed by Steven Spielberg, who eventually let the project go due to other film commitments. Whether or not it the film’s heroic explorers will encounter alien life on their travels remains to be seen.

New ‘After Earth’ trailer

Columbia Pictures has released the new trailer for After Earth, the official synopsis for which reads as follows:

“A crash landing leaves teenager Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith) and his legendary father Cypher (Will Smith) stranded on Earth, 1,000 years after cataclysmic events forced humanity
s escape. With Cypher critically injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help, facing uncharted terrain, evolved animal species that now rule the planet, and an unstoppable alien creature that escaped during the crash. Father and son must learn to work together and trust one another if they want any chance of returning home.”

After Earth hits cinemas June 7 this year.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ will be set mainly in space

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has told SFX that the vast majority of the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie will take place in space.

“The Thor film and the Guardians of the Galaxy film certainly are cosmic,” he said. “Guardians and Thor will take the brunt of the cosmic side of the universe, particularly Guardians, which is 95% in space...”

Feige also added that while Guardians of the Galaxy is very much “a standalone film” in the Marvel franchise, “It takes place in the same universe” as The Avengers, “but the Avengers are not involved with what's happening out there at this time.” If that makes any sense.

Tarantino mocks ‘Prometheus’

Ever wondered what Quentin Tarantino thought of Prometheus? No, me neither. But now we know...

While being interviewed by Craig Ferguson late last year, Tarantino said:

"I saw Prometheus. I loved it and I was disappointed at the same time. On one hand I was a little disappointed about it. On the other hand, it was actually kind of cool to see such a big deal, serious, science fiction epic by a director like Ridley Scott. There were parts of it I actually did like and over-all the experience was really cool having been in it. There was also a lot of dumb stuff in it, though."

Tarantino then mocked what he called the “space cobra” scene where the crew’s exobiologist greets a hideous and clearly deadly alien snake-thing as if it were fluffy puppy before dying a horrible death. A contender for the dumbest scene of 2012?

Tarantino’s Prometheus comments begin at counter reading 4:48 in the video below...


Off Island Again

 I'm leaving the island again this week, so I probably won't do a blog next week.  I'll be off island for about 6 weeks, so I won't put up any Midway photos, but I may get some vacation photos up, if I do anything interesting.  I don't really have any updates, other than Wisdom's chick is still doing fine, we're all busy, and Midway is still wonderful.

 It was a beautiful, sunny, cool day today and a nice view up at Capt Brooks' Tavern.

There were hundreds of Portuguese Man-O-Wars washed up on the North Beach today.  I kept my shoes on when I walked the shoreline today.  Their sting feels like what you'd imagine a red-hot, electrified toaster element to feel like.
The chicks grow fast.  It was the size of the egg about 5 weeks ago.

 A chick is getting a good squid oil meal.

 This is the old cable house dining facility. 

 Most of the hibiscus trees are blooming right now so there's a lot of color.

Darlene had a birthday party at the bowling alley tonight so we had the biggest bowling crowd in a long time. 
It was a nice day for getting flying albatross pictures today, but it almost always is a nice day for that around here.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Back to Midway

I'm finally back from my vacation/conference/work in Alexandria, VA-Brooklyn, NY/Portland, OR/Honolulu, HI.  While I was gone, you may have heard some news from Midway.  Apparently it's big news when a 62 year old albatross has a chick.  You may have seen my pictures of Wisdom or her mate in the Washington Post, London Times, or even the Tehran Times.  John Klavitter did a great interview with "All Things Considered" on NPR.  Here's a link:

It's great that so many people are interested, although I saw a lot of articles that never even mentioned that Wisdom lives at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. If you happened to miss the story you can either check out the link on Midway's News page:
or search for wisdom albatross and read one of dozens of articles.  I'm still getting quite a few photo requests for upcoming magazine articles. 

Dasha and I went to visit a friend in Brooklyn, NY for the weekend.  We didn't get into Manhattan, but we could see it from near his house.  Karl has a business called Mr. Ellie Pooh, which sells paper made of elelphant dung and other products to reduce the killing of wild elephants in Sri Lanka.  Check out:  
Here are a couple of his products.

 I was in Portland, OR for the Pacific Seabird Group conference.  I won't show you photos of the conference, but here's one of a band that a few of us went to in an old silent film theater in downtown, Portland.  The music was great and it was a productive conference.

 This is Wisdom's chick a couple of days ago.  This year we've got 2 leg bands on since last year's chick kicked its band off and we lost track of it since they all look alike.

Today was a beautiful day and the green sea turtles decided to soak up some sun out on Turtle Beach. 

Not all of the turtles were on the beach.  This turtle was swimming in the harbor.  I left this picture a little bigger than usual because I liked how smooth it looks in the water. You can click on it to see it in more detail.
This is what the harbor looked like today.  The turtle above was swimming in the far corner on the left.
The Red-tailed tropicbirds are returning for the breeding season.  I took this photo from the same harbor corner as the turtle.
A Laysan albatross chick is asking its parent for food.

Friday, March 1, 2013

‘Prometheus’ star to return for sequel; original writer will not (yay!)

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

Noomi Rapce told The Playlist this week of her excitement at the prospect of reuniting with Ridley Scott for Prometheus 2. Rapace revealed that a script for the sequel is currently underway, although she gave no clue as to who is writing it. It has been confirmed, however, that Damon Lindelof – much maligned for his work on Prometheus – will not be involved in the writing process.

"They're working on the script," said Rapace. "I met Ridley in London a couple of weeks ago. I would love to work with him again and I know that he would like to do another one. It's just like we need to find the right story. I hope we will."

Rapace added: "It's interesting because most people I've talked to who've seen the movie, see things that are quite different. Some people who see the movie many times and discover new things. There are all these religious aspects and there are very interesting conversations. And for me, if we do a second one, there are a lot of things to explore in there and to continue."

Jon Spaihts, who wrote the original Prometheus draft (which was then re-written by Lindelof), told Empire last year that his version of the script contained plenty of big ideas and Alien references that never made it into the final product, suggesting there’s still plenty of scope for more familiar Xenomorphs and facehuggers in the sequel.

As its script is still in progress, Prometheus 2 is unlikely to burst from Fox’s belly until at least 2015, probably later. So we’ve a good while to wait before we see how (and if) Rapace’s Elizabeth Shaw and Michael Fassbender’s David find their way to the Engineer’s home planet, and what wonders and horrors might greet them upon their arrival.