Disney may have had a less-than-stellar science fiction outing with their big-budget John Carter, but they clearly haven’t been put off the genre as a whole. Aside from purchasing some little-known science fiction franchise you probably haven’t heard of — Star Bars or something like that — they’ve recently announced a top secret science fiction project called Terra Incognita. We don’t know much about it, but they’ve hired a writer who’s had her head in outer space a lot lately: Nicole Perlman, who is also co-writing Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy movie.
Variety reports that Terra Incognita is based on an original pitch from Perlman. That in itself is nice to hear, since Hollywood is notoriously gun-shy when it comes to greenlighting anything that isn’t a sequel, prequel, reboot, or adaptation of an existing property. Aside from the big Guardians gig, she’s penned several notable (so-far unproduced) scripts: Challenger, which tells the story of Richard Feynman’s investigation of the infamous Space Shuttle disaster, and which landed on the Black List in 2005; and First Man, which focuses on the life of astronaut Neil Armstrong.
Disney isn’t letting any details regarding Terra Incognita’s storyline out yet, which isn’t surprising for an original property like this. The title may or may not provide any hints: it’s Latin for “unknown land.” That could mean damn near anything within the bounds of science fiction, so we’ll just have to wait and see what comes of it.
We’re in a surprisingly good time for big-screen science fiction, even though not all of it is making a huge splash at the box office. This year we’ve seen memorable SF outings such as John Carter, Dredd, Cloud Atlas, and Looper. Next year we’ve got M. Night Shyamalan’s After Earth starring Will and Jaden Smith; Oblivion starring Tom Cruise and directed by Tron: Legacy helmer Joseph Kosinski; Elysium starring Matt Damon and from District 9’s Neill Blomkamp; and Guillermo del Toro’s giant robots vs. giant monsters epic Pacific Rim. Oh, and some Star Trek thing…