Where The Hell Is Oren Peli’s AREA 51?

Been wondering what the hell happened to Oren Peli’s AREA 51? What do you mean you don’t know what I’m talking about? Well, allow me to school you: AREA 51 was Peli’s follow-up to PARANORMAL ACTIVITY. You remember that one, don’t you? Of course you do.

Peli shot AREA 51 back in 2009 mere months before ACTIVITY hit. The film centers around three brothers taking the motorway to Roswell to try out their new video camera and investigate the disappearance of an alleged alien abductee. Shooting wrapped in November 2009 amidst rumors of a massive bidding war for distribution rights. Paramount won, demanded massive re-shoots in April of 2011 and then…nothing. AREA 51 vanished off the cultural radar.

In the time since filming it, Peli has since moved on to endeavors such as founding Haunted Films (they produced INSIDIOUS and have Rob Zombie’s LORDS OF SALEM in the pipeline), producing PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 & 3 and prepping his Edgar Allan Poe flick ELIZA GRAVES. Sounds as if Peli has moved on, but Empire Online might have an answer as to whether or not audiences will ever see AREA 51.

In an interview conducted back in April, producer Jason Blum was prodded about the status of AREA 51 and was what he had to say:

"There's still no release date, but I anticipate the movie will be mostly done in three or four months. Like Paranormal Activity, we went back like fifty times for additional photography. The great thing about doing extra shooting for inexpensive movies is that the cost is low, so we screen and shoot and screen and shoot."

There were also distractions in the form of a certain high-profile sequel. "Oren and I were pulled away from Area 51 a lot for the second Paranormal," Blum explains. "Once that came out we ramped up on Area 51 again." Asked if he's expecting a 2012 release though, Blum is more optimistic: "Not for sure; it could be sooner..."

First: This is an old news bit from Empire. April of this year, to be exact. Just got around to reporting it because I missed it the first time around or it never hit big on the movie sites. Only reason I even stumbled across it was because my curiosity as to what happened to AREA 51 was killing me.

Been on real “lost movies” kick lately. Reported on the John Cusack thriller THE FACTORY last week, found out what happened to the reboot of RED DAWN and BUBBA NOSFERATU today and now I’m trying to find out about this flick. Knew PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 was around the corner and that INSIDIOUS 2 is supposedly in the works, so that got me thinking about AREA 51. Just figured you’d like to know my reasoning behind conveying a nearly six month old bit of news.

Second: AREA 51 is obviously not coming out this year and there is no date penciled in for 2012. My guess is that Paramount’s SUPER 8 derailed this 51’s release. Studio couldn’t have two “found footage” movies about aliens at Area 51 coming out in the same year, so they shelved the one that was obviously the low priority (100 million dollar J.J. Abrams mega-blockbuster VS 3 mil indie pic, kinda obvious who wins that battle). Maybe once SUPER 8 hits DVD and Blu and a few months have passed, Paramount will get around to releasing this.

Guess the point of this article was to relay the info that AREA 51 still exists, is still in flux and that it actually may see the light of day sometime in the next year or so. Guess some info is better than none.

[via Empire]

Posted by J. Bryant

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