According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film will cost a mere $5 million to make and employ the "found footage" approach first introduced by 1999's "The Blair Witch Project" and recently popularized by "Cloverfield" and the "Paranormal" activity flicks.
Plot details are scant at this point, and the movie will reportedly star unknown actors. In fact, word on the street is that the two leads -- a world-weary journalist in his 40s or 50s and a black cameraman in his early-to-mid-20s -- have just been cast, with an eye to begin filming in mid-November.
To be sure, this is good news for fans of "Independence Day," one of the top-grossing alien-invasion flicks of all time. It's also interesting news. A $5 budget is nothing for a director known for such big-screen spectacles as blowing up the White House, unleashing Godzilla upon New York and recreating, you know, the end of the world. Until his latest film, the political thriller "Anyonymous" (which just wrapped production), Emmerich hadn't made a movie with less than a $100-million budget since 1994's "Stargate."
So what is a big-budget architect of destruction, known for such extravagant disaster flicks as "Independence Day," "Godzilla," "The Day After Tomorrow" and "2012" going to do with just $5 mil? Hopefully... hone his skills as a storyteller, get back in that alien-invasion head space, and get ready to give us those TWO "Independence Day" sequels he told us about.
Are you excited for "The Zone"? Or do you think Emmerich's $5 million budget needs to be augmented with a one and a zero in front of that five?