There is another robot film coming out, but before you groan, it doesn’t have Michael Bay (Transformers), McG (Terminator) or Shawn Levy (Real Steel) attached. This one is called Panic Attack has a director you've most likely have never heard of attached, Fede Alvarez. That name might not make your ears perk up (yet) but this one will: Sam Raimi.
Raimi’s production company Ghost House Pictures (Drag Me to Hell, 30 Days of Night: Dark Days) has won a bidding war between a bunch of major studios to sign a seven-figure deal with Alvarez to have him direct a feature-length film based on a 4 minute short he released earlier this year.
Fede Alvarez is a commercial director from Uruguay (small country in South America just below Brazil), and until now no one outside of that country had heard of him. That is, until Kanye West posted a link on his blog (his internet equivalent of grabbing the microphone) to Alvarez’s short film. Since then, Alvarez has been wined and dined by all of the major players in Hollywood. I’m sure each of the Hollywood big boys was saying, “We’re out of ideas. Can we buy yours?”
The short film Alvarez did is called Ataque de Panico or Panic Attack and the report is he made it for under $500. I’m sure a lot of the work on the film was done pro bono by artists just trying to get their work recognized. Well, they succeeded and their fantastic alien robot invasion of Uruguay will shortly become a major motion picture release. Watch the film after the jump:
Sam Raimi will produce the film alongside Ghost House partner Rob Tapert. Joining them will be Roy Lee and Doug Davison from Vertigo while Nathan Kahane will serve as executive producer. Now Ghost House is looking for a “high-end scribe” to make the short film big screen material based on an alien invasion idea that Alvarez pitched to Raimi.
In the ever-changing Hollywood world, studios are starting to go more to unknown directors and actors to help carry movies that require very little investment for a great deal of return. Look at this summer’s District 9; under the tutelage of Peter Jackson, relatively-unknown director Neil Blomkamp delivered a great film on a $30 million budget and to date has grossed $180 million worldwide. And who can forget this fall’s ultra-phenomenon Paranormal Activity that director Oren Peli made for only $15 k, which has brought in over $100 million.
I really liked the Panic Attack short film and the idea that slow moving giant robots could invade and blow up the world is a great throwback to the 50s when robots were imagined that way. Notice how there were no chrome covered robots with red eyes using machine guns or any twin robots “jive” talking, humping girl’s legs, crying or swinging their wrecking balls in the camera’s face? Could it be that we might actually get a decent robot invasion movie that's a lot of fun to watch?
Here’s hoping they don’t sign Will Smith, John Cusack, Hugh Jackman or Russell Crowe in the starring role.
What did you think about the short film Panic Attack and do you think it could be properly turned into a major movie?