I’m not going to get into an Apollo 18 rant here, but before its release, I would have considered “found footage suspense in space” to be a failsafe genre as far as garnering my interest is concerned. I’m one of “those guys.” But then the film came out, not with a bang, but with several bangs, of my head against the wall behind me. My faith has not died completely, however. Every time I read something about The Europa Report, which is never all that much thanks to production secrecy, I get excited all over again.
Via press release, the Wagner/Cuban Company’s Magnet Releasing, a genre-based sub-company of Magnolia Pictures, announced they’ve acquired the U.S. rights to Europa Report, and they plan on releasing it later this year on an undetermined date.
The film, financied by Wayfare Entertainment and China’s Sil Metropole, is the English language directorial debut from Sebastián Cordero, and a return to sci-fi from District 9 breakout star Sharlto Copley. Cordero is working with longtime collaborators Eugenio Caballero, the Academy Award-winning Production Designer for Pan’s Labyrinth, and Director of Photography Enrique Chediak (127 Hours). Another major draw for this crew is the music, as performed by Bear McCreary, responsible for the powerful music on The Walking Dead and Battlestar Galactica.
Europa Report was written by Philip Gelatt, whose only other writing credit was the disappointing-but-not-horrible The Bleeding House. But the story revolves around a contemporary mission to investigate for signs of extraterrestrial life on Jupiter’s moon Europa. It mixes the realism of an alternative history documentary with the suspense of a sci-fi thriller, and was developed with much input from NASA, JPL, and SpaceX along with other leaders in the scientific community, and its basis on real-world theories and ideas ground its legitimacy, and rest the bulk of the drama on Gelatt’s shoulders.
“Europa Report is an exceptionally smart, thrilling film that will be a revelation for space enthusiasts and science fiction fans alike,” said Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles. “Its nuanced attention to scientific detail lends it an exciting quality that elevates it above the usual genre fare.” Producer Ben Browning, of Wayfare Entertainment, says, “Sebastián has made a unique and challenging film that looks and feels epic despite being contained, and we’re confident has the potential to get into the zeitgeist.”
Are you guys as excited as I am? Make a documentary of yourself taking a space flight to any of Jupiter’s dozens of other moons, and send the video to us here at Giant Freakin’ Robot.