Apollo 18 Gets New Director, Still Racing To March Release Date

Having already taken down a Roland Emmerich project with a similar premise, and facing similar competition from the Warner Bros. project Dark Moon, the Timur Bekmambetov-produced sci-fi project Apollo 18 really needs to live up to the expectations its putting upon itself. And with a March 2011 release date scheduled, they need to pull together and work basically every minute in order to get this thing out on time.

Except that, well, they're replacing their director instead. Yesterday Spanish director Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego signed on to direct the film, replacing Trevor Cawood. The film already has a hell of a body count and it hasn’t even begun shooting yet.

The Weinstein Company along with Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov are producing the film on a hyper-ambitious plan--get this movie out by March 2011. For those of you keeping track, that’s as barely four months away, which means casting, crewing, preproduction, filming, and post all need to happen before Valentine's Day. The hope is that releasing the film that fast will beat out Paranormal Activity director Oren Peli, who is working on his own sci-fi found footage film Area 51. Basically they’re trying to force them to be the one who “overdoes” found-footage rather than it being them. Spoiler alert: They both are.

Apollo 18 follows a secret mission to the moon that reportedly reveals evidence of extra-terrestrial life. It sounds like a film that would take a lot longer to plan and execute than three months, but according to THR the majority of the film takes place in the space ship rather than on the moon or in any other effects-heavy environment.

So I have to ask, blenditos: are you guys sick of found-footage film’s? Obviously if studios keep going at this rate they’re going to wear out the gimmick, and this just sounds to me like they’re purposely rushing to make that happen. Sound off in the comments below.