Come January, Universal was set to release an original sci-fi film from director Ben Young. The film, starring Lizzy Caplan (Cloverfield, Mean Girls) and Michael Peña (Ant-Man, The Martian), was going to be Young’s first major US release, following his indie hit Hounds of Love, which came out last year. Hounds of Love, a kidnapping film about a young woman who must use her captors own weaknesses against them, was named one of 2016’s best films, and its star (Emma Booth) is also in Extinction.
The synopsis for the new film reveals:
A father has a recurring dream of losing his family. His nightmare turns into reality when the planet is invaded by a force bent on destruction. Fighting for their lives, he comes to realize an unknown strength to keep them safe from harm.
The film was pulled to give Universal a chance to “explore other options,” but it seems like another case of a big studio not knowing what to do with a filmmaker who creates original genre movies. The same thing happened to Michael Dougherty, who also got screwed over by Universal when they refused to screen Krampus for critics in anticipation of its release. Maybe the studio isn’t equipped to handle a lot of original horror that’s not produced by Jason Blum, which is ironic considering just how much Blumhouse stuff they release on a yearly basis.
I really hope this film is released sooner than later. After 10 Cloverfield Lane, audiences are looking for original sci-fi and horror, and I think Extinction might be exactly what they need. Even if the film isn’t amazing, it can’t be fun for a big studio to suddenly pull your movie a mere two months before its scheduled to hit theaters.
Images: Marvel, Gunpowder & Sky, Paramount