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SYFY WIRE Robert Zemeckis

WIRE Buzz: Robert Zemeckis eyeing sci-fi thriller Ares; Disney+ re-launching SpaceCamp; more

By Brian Silliman
Robert Zemeckis

The man behind Back to the Future may be heading to space for a thrilling new adventure — Robert Zemeckis is close to helming the new sci-fi film, Ares

According to Deadline, Zemeckis is in "advanced negotiations" with Warner Bros. to direct the film, which has a script written by Geneva Robertson-Dworet, the writer of Captain Marvel. The film was previously based over at MGM, where Roland Emmerich was attached to produce; he'll still be involved as an executive producer. 

The genre-straddling film will tell the story of an astronaut whose capsule crashes in the deserts of Africa, who "begins to suspect his mission was in service of a conspiracy that hides a secret with world-changing ramifications."

Zemeckis is currently developing a live-action remake of Pinocchio with Disney — if he moves forward with Ares, we don't know if the space thriller will happen before or after the tale of the puppet who wants to be a real boy. 

From the question of what will come first, Disney or space, we now go to a story that involves both Disney and space. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney+ is working on a reboot of the cult classic film, SpaceCamp. It's about time! 

Current Saturday Night Live writers Mikey Day and Streeter Seidell have been tasked with writing a new take on the 1986 teen space romp, which will look to set a new group of kids loose in the 21st century.

The original film tells the tale of a group of teens who attend the titular SpaceCamp, located close to Cape Canaveral in Florida. They are allowed to visit a Space Shuttle during an engine test, but wouldn't you know it? That Shuttle gets launched into space. What was once camp gets distinctly real, as the kooky kampers have to find a way to safely land the Space Shuttle. 

Lea Thompson (Howard the Duck), Kelly Preston (What a Girl Wants), Tate Donovan (The O.C.), and Joaquin Phoenix (Joker) starred in the original film. No word yet on casting this time around.

This is the third project at Mouse House streaming central for Day and Seidell, who are already working on a Home Alone reboot as well as a new take on Inspector Gadget

Finally today, Brian K. Vaughan's sci-fi comic Ex Machina is making its way to the big screen. The new cinematic take on the comic will a be film will be called The Great Machine.

THR broke the news, adding that the script will be adapted by Anna Waterhouse and Joe Shrapnel. Vaughan himself will serve as a producer on the film, with everything being overseen by Legendary Entertainment. 

Legendary nabbed the rights to the property as a part of their three-year overall film and TV pact with Vaughan, the comic creator behind such titles as Y: The Last Man, Saga, and Paper Girls. It's been a year since that specific pact was sealed. 

After making its debut in 2004 under DC's Wildstorm imprint, the comic ran for 50 issues and told the story of Mitchell Hundred, a former superhero who becomes mayor of New York following the events of 9/11. He has the power to talk to mechanical devices, hence the "machine" wording in the various titles — his superhero name was actually Great Machine, which is now the title of the film itself.

Of course, there is already the Alex Garland film titled Ex Machina, which is a completely different thing that features Oscar Isaac disco-dancing. This film, presumably, will not feature that.