Perhaps one of the most enduring truths about Hollywood and filmmaking in general is how hard it is to get a film made. Of course, any struggling filmmaker can tell you this much. But when employed, successful and otherwise well known filmmakers can’t even get their work made, the difficult realities of movie making become that much more apparent.
Case in point: screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. The duo behind Zombieland also wrote the script for Deadpool, a movie that was notoriously stuck in development hell for a long time as 20th Century Fox nervously tried to decide if an irreverent, R-rated, fourth wall-breaking ultra-violent superhero was worth the risk – though box office predictions now suggest he will be. Most recently, the screenwriters’ names came up when Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation star Rebecca Ferguson signed on to star in their scripted sci-fi film, Life.
Recently, /Film spoke with Reese and Wernick about their original sci-fi movie script that’s stuck in development hell over at Universal. The scope of the film, entitled Earth vs Moon, comes off as quite a gargantuan one indeed, and would play out as a war between citizens of earth and – you guessed it, the moon. Breaking down the plot, the writers had this to say:
“It’s about two societies at war, but it’s also about a family, not at war, but a fractured family. Half of them have gone to the moon and the other half are still on Earth and so they are on opposite sides of this conflict and we wanted to make sure that as big of movie as it’s going to be, it works on a small level. It works on a personal level, the way we like to think about Zombieland working.”
That synopsis might sound amazing to some, but apparently it hasn’t quite snowballed into production at any point during the past “eight or nine years or so” during which it has been at Universal. Reese and Wernick obviously haven’t completely given up hope, but they’ve exercised no small amount of patience since selling the script. As Wernick explains:
“It’s in development hell over at Universal, in some form or another. I don’t know exactly what’s going on. We’ve always loved the project and the title. It’s a big movie. Maybe we’ll be talking in six and a half years about the struggle to get that made. I don’t know. It’s so hard to get a movie made in this town, especially hard to get an original project made, and that’s obviously an original idea that we had. It’s nowhere closer to being made to when we sold it eight or nine years or so.”
No filmmaker wants their product to sit in the widely feared but all too common depths of development hell. Last week’s announcement that Rebecca Ferguson would star in Life, as well as the imminent arrival of Deadpool in theaters, means that the profiles of Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are only going to heighten.
A hit with Deadpool could be just what the pair needs to bolster Universal’s confidence with Earth vs Moon. Until then, it looks as though fans of the writers’ work will have to follow the pair’s example of remaining patient.
Screen Rant will keep you up to date with information on Earth vs Moon as it becomes available.