On the strength of his impressive 2009 short film Ataque de Pánico! (Panic Attack!) - watch it below - Uruguay-born director Fede Alvarez was handed one of the great horror franchises to remake with this year's Evil Dead. While reviews were mixed (but leaned toward the positive, read ours here), the film did well at the box office, grossing $98 million worldwide on a $17 million budget.
Now it appears Evil Dead has given Alvarez the clout to move forward with his original sci-fi action project, titled Machina for Media Rights Capital. There are no other details available at the moment, with even the logline as yet under wraps. Alvarez, who is attached to direct, is also co-writing with his partner Rodo Sayagues (the two of them also co-wrote Evil Dead).
According to THR, Alvarez originally set this project up at Sam Raimi's Ghost House production company after his celebrated short film - which follows a giant robot attack on Montevideo, Uruguay - caught Raimi's eye. While Machina was in development, Alvarez and Sayagues were tapped to tackle Evil Dead, presumably in order to prove their mettle, a decision which paid off (at least financially).
With no details available on the story for Machina, we can only speculate. The title echoes the giant attack robots from his short film, so it could be a feature-length expansion of that - a common move by newly-established filmmakers. It could also have nothing at all to do with Panic Attack! since Alvarez might be ready for something wholly original after remaking Evil Dead.
There is also a question of just when we can expect to see this. Alvarez appeared to be planning a sequel to Evil Dead as Sam Raimi (and one of his brothers and possibly frequent co-writer Ivan) plans to write Army of Darkness 2 - a sequel to the third entry in the original The Evil Dead series). Bruce Campbell has reportedly agreed to star, as well. And after both of of those films happen, "both worlds would combine for a final, seventh film.”
It's an ambitious idea for sure, but what about the (wholly unconfirmed) rumor that Alvarez was in talks to write and direct Marvel's Doctor Strange? As we pointed out, he'd be a pretty great choice, having proven with Panic Attack! that he can deliver an impressive spectacle, along with his handling of the supernatural and the deeply weird. Still, despite Kevin Feige continuing to name-drop Doctor Strange, we should not expect any further Phase 3 announcement from Marvel until 2014. The studio may - or may not - even confirm if they met with Alvarez at all.
Alvarez and Sayagues' continuing development of Machina is the likely next project from these two, and it will be interesting to see them turn to science fiction, with a broader canvas to play with.
Expect more news on Machina as the details become available.