Due to budgetary constraints, scheduling issues and other various setbacks, the final few Apollo missions of the 1960s and 70s were cancelled. Apollo 18, 19 and 20 were all planning to take astronauts to the surface of the Moon again but it just wasn’t meant to be. In early 1970, they pulled the plug on the Apollo 20 mission and later that year NASA also put an end to the Apollo 18  & 19 missions.

But what if Apollo 17 wasn’t actually the last Apollo Lunar mission? What if Apollo 18 actually did happen covertly and conducted its scheduled landing in February of 1972 and found alien life? This is the story behind the upcoming film written by Brian Miller, simply titled Apollo 18.

The Weinstein Company picked up the rights to Miller’s Apollo 18 screenplay and Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) is attached to produce. Trevor Cawood, a visual effects artist who worked on such films as The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, was attached to direct the “found footage” documentary-style, sci-fi thriller, but the latest news has Spanish director Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego stepping in to helm the project.

IGN has the exclusive on the first Apollo 18 poster which depicts a footprint of an astronaut beside the foot print of… something else.

The plot of Apollo 18 is not dissimilar from Cloverfield and revolves around archived Russian footage discovered from the 1970s which reveals that President Nixon didn’t actually cancel Apollo 18 and that it did happen, offering a new reason as to why the Apollo missions ended after that. Here’s a snippet from the press release which offers more detail about the plot:

A quintessential Cold War story, Apollo 18 casts light on the covert and undocumented lunar mission that officially “never happened.” Bekmambetov, hired by Russia to shoot a documentary about the Russian space station, recently came across footage in its space archives that bolsters the idea that an Apollo 18 mission did, in fact, take place, and reveals startling evidence of extraterrestrial life forms. This actual footage will be part of Apollo 18, a paranormal thriller that will interpolate fact and fiction.

As long as the footage doesn’t involve a seizure-inducing style of film like Cloverfield than I am absolutely on board with Apollo 18 and its story. Apollo 18 is in early production but hasn’t begun shooting yet for its early 2011 release, giving it a very short window for completion.

You can also check out more about the film by going to the Official Apollo 18 website, or follow the film on Twitter and/or Facebook.

Apollo 18 is scheduled to release March 4, 2011.

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Source: IGN