Two hugely popular plots mashed together opens up a myriad of filmmaking possibilities.
The film industry reinvents itself in a number of ways. We’ve seen how gems like Get Out rework classic genre fare to boost minority voices and go on to win Oscars. But much about moviemaking is also very stagnant. The landscape is currently stuck in the realm of reboots that don’t always come across as fresh. Adaptations are totally fine, and so are remakes, but it can be a little tiresome when studios only rehash stuff we’ve seen before and choose to bank on sequel culture to keep themselves afloat. This is where new and potentially interesting spec scripts come in to hopefully add some variety and bring a hint of originality to the table.
The Tracking Board has announced that Verve is shopping a script from John Swetnam (Into the Storm) and Harris Wilkinson (Leprechaun: Origins) that’s as-yet-untitled but is said to feature a home invasion plot set during an alien invasion. Evidently, “major directors” are already interested in the project, which is to be expected since horror seems to be on the rise in general. The Tracking Board also cites another spec script involving extraterrestrials that got picked up for production — The Shower, to star Anne Hathaway — indicating a new pattern in the industry: add aliens, and the story has an exciting new kick to it.
The fact that many of these tinier projects seem to be attracting A-list talent is fantastic, and aliens generally make for a fun ride if they’re done properly. While Swetnam and Wilkinson admittedly don’t have the best writing resumes, we can at least try to be optimistic given the heightened level of interest from studios. We can also start considering how the fear of an alien invasion could work with an equally tense and frightening home invasion. Talk about pushing humans to their very limits.
The fear of the unknown draws both of those giant plot lines together, and there are so many ways to approach the film to create a gripping thriller. The story could drastically change depending on the point-of-view that the film will adopt; will the series of events play out from the perspective of the home invaders or the people being invaded?
I’m reminded of something like Fede Alvarez’s Don’t Breathe, a film that puts us in the shoes of three delinquents and convinces the audience to root for them. A pseudo-Purge premise could work for the film as well. The Purge series kind of went off the rails as it carried on, but the concept of an absurd entitlement to other people’s lives and property remains an intriguing one that could be explored in the context of invasion-upon-invasion; this may or may not be dependant on evil aliens trying to take over the world. A further if more sobering parallel that could be drawn between the two plot lines involves thinking about the term “alien” in a broader sense. Maybe there’s some immigration commentary lurking in the script. It’s one of the ways to make sure the film is cast diversely, but honestly, any plot line should facilitate inclusion.
Of course, these speculations don’t, by any means, even represent an exhaustive list of possibilities in which this spec script could pan out. They don’t even assume that aliens from outer space could have some kind of active role in the movie. But overall, the prospect of combining two plots that are generally very popular in modern-day cinema is a thoroughly intriguing factor that has practically boundless potential, making this film a revamp to root for.