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MoonPop: "Earth vs. Moon" April 12, 2008

Posted by Nick Azer in MoonPop.

This edition of MoonPop comes right from the headlines of Hollywood.

This past Tuesday, it was announced that a pitch called “Earth vs. Moon” was picked up by Universal for “mid-to-high six figures”, which is pretty good for what amounts to an idea. The two writers (and executive producers) of the project, Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, have the interesting combination of experience of Emmy-winning TV news work and “Monsters, Inc.” (with their main previous collabaration being “The Joe Schmo Show”).

While the plot’s still under wraps, it sounds like something in the vein of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (itself to be an extensive MoonPop feature in the next few months). While I doubt the potential of this as a ‘quality film’ per se, what’s significant is the amount of money paid for this pitch, and the general timing.

This film will probably be released around 2010-2011 as an early guess on my part, right around the time Celestis’s human remains on the moon project is projected to have had at least one trip/attempt. One could theorize that the reason four studios were in a bidding war for this pitch was not the quality of the idea on its own merits, but that the interest is based on the idea that the film could capitalize on a surge of public interest in the concept of moon colonization and integration (with such dramatic and public efforts as Celestis‘ in the news every day).

Movie marketing is rarely based on quality, and more on public brand recognition. If something’s in the news everday, and it captures the public’s fancies in a way that, say, the Iraq war doesn’t, a fun film on the subject could tap into something in the minds of moviegoers, while also cashing in on an established and visible entertainment genre at the same time.

So while that Hollywood Reporter article on a film with no revealed plot (other than a very telling title) may seem minor and unassuming, it could say a lot about what the pop culture is thinking about this era as it develops into its adolesence.


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