Roland Emmerich’s ‘The Zone’ Canceled Due To Influx Of Found-Footage Films

In a move that rips the hearts clean out of the chests of extraterrestrial enthusiasts and “Independence Day” fans all over the world, it appears that Roland Emmerich is not getting into “The Zone” for his next movie.

The Hollywood Reporter states that the found-footage alien movie has been canceled with one week to go before shooting was set to start. The reasons are a bit murky, though one possible explanation lies in the fact that “the found-footage trope is becoming overplayed.”

Is it becoming overplayed? That depends on your tastes, really, but there’s certainly no shortage of found-footage movies out there, even if Emmerich isn’t getting in on the party. After the jump, check out our roundup of films from that genre.

“Apollo 18″
Announced as in development earlier this week, Timur Bekmambetov is producing this found-footage space horror movie that’s decidedly nothing like “Apollo 13.” The film is scheduled to hit theaters in March of 2011, just a few short weeks before Emmerich’s “The Zone” would have landed — a likely reason that the director withdrew from the project.

Of course, who doesn’t know about “Cloverfield,” the J.J. Abrams-produced and Matt Reeves-directed found-footage flick that tossed a massive monster in the middle of Manhattan? The film was a critical and commercial success, so much so that many are wondering when the fabled “Cloverfield” sequel is going to arrive in theaters.

“Dark Moon”
“The Fourth Kind” director Olatunde Osunsanmi is currently working for Warner Bros. on “Dark Moon,” a found-footage movie about a black-ops mission to the moon with disturbing consequences. Who knows what “The Zone” was really about, but “Dark Moon” certainly sounds like it has a lot in common with “Apollo 18.”

More documentary style than found-footage, director Gareth Edwards’ “Monsters” focuses on the arrival of alien creatures throughout the United States and Mexico border region. The story follows two people, Andrew and Samantha, as they go through infected regions of Mexico to get back to America with their lives intact. The film is currently playing in select theaters.

“Paranormal Activity”
The crowning jewel of the modern era of found footage films, the “Paranormal Activity” franchise has evolved from a Cinderella story to becoming a full-fledged moneymaking phenomenon. With “Paranormal Activity 2” already in theaters and reaping a massive profit on a $3 million budget, it’s only a matter of time before a third film arrives.

Tell us what you think of the found footage genre and the cancellation of Emmerich’s “The Zone” in the comments and on Twitter!