With Oren Peli's found-footage horror film "Paranormal Activity" making a big box-office splash, it's only natural that everyone's wondering about his next project. An alien-themed scare flick titled "Area 51," the Paramount film has been shrouded in secrecy—but details recently emerged about Peli's plans for the film. One thing the spoilery report didn't mention, however, is what the forward movement on Peli's "Area 51" means for another Paramount project with the same name: Grant Morrison's long-gestating "Area 51" movie based on the Midway video game.
We last reported on Morrison's "Area 51" script more than a year ago, with the comics scribe promising that his script offered "a new take on the mythology." Details regarding Morrison's take on "Area 51" are even more scarce than details about Peli's closely guarded script, but from what we can tell, the scripts' similarities end at the theme, title and studio backing them.
Morrison's "Area 51" is based on a video game that follows a special forces unit as it investigates a viral outbreak in a research facility — only to discover an ancient alien colony controlling the rapidly mutating virus andits victims.
"That's the existing idea," Morrison told MTV News back in October 2008, "and I have to get to the core of that, dismantle it, and make it work. It'll be a totally different view of the aliens and the whole mythology."
On the other hand, Peli's "Area 51" is rumored to follow a group of friends investigating the mysterious Area 51 facility as they try to find proof of the existence of aliens. The film is expected to take the form of "found footage" a la "Paranormal Activity."
Interestingly, the original "Area 51" video game was a first-person shooter—so many of the camera angles in the game followed the same first-person style as most found-footage films. So there's at least one connection to be made between the inspiration for Morrison's script and Peli's much-anticipated "Area 51."
So, will we ever see Morrison's "Area 51"?
A name-change for one of the projects might be in order if Morrison's script is ever to find its way to the screen — though the fact that the comic creator's story is only loosely based on the video game might make such a change possible. However, seeing as how we haven't heard much about the project in a year (it's no longer listed on Morrison's IMDB profile), the film might be firmly entrenched development limbo at the moment.
When it comes down to it, though, if freeing up Morrison from "Area 51" provides him more time to work on "We3," we're not going to complain. Cybernetic, weaponized housepets trump aliens in our book —and we're pretty sure we're not alone in feeling that way.
Still hoping to see Morrison's "Area 51" movie? Think Peli's "Area 51" will sink it? Let us know what you think in the comment section or on Twitter!