While some moviegoers might be wary of a film where Michael Bay’s name is featured in the trailer, upcoming low-budget found-footage sci-fi Project Almanac was actually directed by newcomer Dean Israelite. Produced by Bay through his studio Platinum Dunes, Project Almanac is about a group of high school teens who discover a time travel device and decide to use it to help other people, fight crime and prevent disasters.
Just kidding. Being teenagers, their first priorities are becoming super-rich, getting back at school bullies and revisiting embarrassing conversations to make them go a lot smoother. Unfortunately they soon discover that their innocent actions have had a butterfly effect (now that’s a good name for a time travel movie…) and are causing disaster on both a minor and major scale.
The first of a new batch of TV spots for Project Almanac invites Youtube viewers to engage in a “choose your own adventure” game to see the outcome of various uses of time travel. It looks like things go well for the teens in the short term, but as things get more complicated they also get more dangerous.
Project Almanac‘s young cast is largely made up of newcomers, including Jonny Weston and Sam Lerner as David and Quinn – the apparent ringleaders of the group. The film was made for around $12 million and is the first feature from screenwriters Jason Pagan and Andrew Deutschman; they’ve since been hired to script Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (the Paranormal Activity series is also produced by Platinum Dunes).
This doesn’t really look like a time travel movie that will blow everyone’s minds; Project Almanac seems more an experimentation with the idea of what would happen if teenagers were given an unreasonable amount of power. It’s actually arriving about a year late, since it was originally set to release in February 2014.
Project Almanac is out in theaters on January 30th, 2015.