Summit Launches ‘Area 52’ Adaptation

The Image comic book titled Area 52 is soon to become a feature film. Summit Entertainment bought the film rights last year, after a handful of studios and production companies juggled the material, but with ultimately unfruitful results. The story is paranormal in nature, as you would expect from the title. Johnny Rosenthal has been hooked to write the screenplay for the live action motion picture.

Rosenthal is also the writer behind Bad Santa 2, the film to be directed by Hot Tub Time Machine director Steve Pink. In case you are curious, Billy Bob Thornton is returning with that title.

Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian are producing the Area 52 adaptation. Di Bonaventura has seen success with thrillers like Angelina Jolie’s spy flick, Salt, and another comic book adaptation, RED. In fact, he’s hard at work with Bruce Willis currently for the sequel, RED 2, which is also a Summit Entertainment title.

Area 52 is about a rag-tag contingent of quirky soldiers stationed at a dreary military base on the continent of Antarctica known of course as Area 52. Tasked with keeping the storage facility secure, things get a little intense for the troops when an alien hatches from one of the top-secret artifacts hidden with the other tech and extraterrestrial memorabilia. Then, much like a good Alien picture, the being starts hunting down the soldiers.

The original Area 52 comic was penned by Brian Haberlin. He also wrote for the popular Witchblade comic series and contributed to Shi, Aria, and Spawn. Yep, he’s a bit of a rock star. He did colors as well as writing.

J.C. Spink, Chris Bender and Jake Weiner will serve as executive producers on the project and production president Erik Feig of Lionsgate and Summit’s vice president of production, Meredith Milton, are keeping their eagle eyes on the progress.

Science Fiction fans no doubt also have their eye on Summit property, Ender’s Game, the disgustingly highly anticipated adaptation of the beloved Orson Scott Card novel. That one is coming November of 2013.

I’m always ready to cheer on a good sci-fi project. We’ll have to wait and see more on the style and tone of this one. Depending on the production value and originality, this could be just another cookie cutter horror film. Cowboys & Aliens was a sci-fi comic book adaptation that had fan boys and girls quite a bit excited until it’s release, which seemed to ring out as a bit underwhelming in the end.

This material also reminds me of Vin Diesel’s upcoming Riddick film. Due out sometime next year with Karl Urban and Katee Sackhoff, there should be plenty of aliens in that one, too.

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