It looks like Independence Day director Roland Emmerich won't be returning to his extraterrestrial roots after all, as the plug has been pulled on the filmmaker's previously reported found footage film The Zone.
The Hollywood Reporter has the news, saying that production has been shut down with just one week to go until shooting would have started. Few details are known about the reasons for the shutdown, except for this enigmatic comment from Emmerich's representatives: "This is not a project [Emmerich] is pursuing at this time."
The Zone was said to be a found footage film ala Paranormal Activity and Cloverfield that deals with the arrival of aliens. Emmerich would have shot the picture on a budget of roughly $5 million, a rather far cry from his typically $100 million or more blockbuster efforts. As for why The Zone has collapsed, THR offers two theories: "One, the found-footage trope is becoming overplayed, and two, Zone would have been released a scant weeks after another found-footage sci-fi movie."
Or maybe there's a third possibility -- Emmerich has gotten the gang back together, studio financing included, for an Independence Day sequel, and he doesn't want to film back-to-back alien pictures. There is absolutely no evidence to back that claim up other than my own wishful thinking, but let's be serious, the world would be a better place with an ID4 sequel in it.