Director Oren Peli, whose debut film “Paranormal Activity” became the sleeper hit of Halloween, has reportedly already concluded principle photography on his next project, “Area 51,” which again co-opts a found-footage aesthetic for, as the name implies, an otherworldly trip to Nevada.
Considering the level of attention that “Paranormal” garnered, it’s a little surprising that outside of a generic press release and vague synopsis, the filming of “Area 51,” was able to fly below the radar, so to speak. The film is being made on a comparatively extravagant budget ($5 million to “Paranormal’s” $11,000), and was again picked up for release by Paramount Pictures, who handled the memorable marketing campaign and ‘demand’ based distribution that helped fuel the hype for Peli's film earlier this year.
However, the future for the up and coming director was not always so bright. “Paranormal” had been shelved by Paramount back in 2006 until Steven Spielberg discovered and took an interest in the comatose project, nursing it by way of additional post production sound work and alternate endings into the success story it is today.
"Area 51" will likely see release by Paramount this coming Fall. Ample time for us all to forget about the similarly themed but critically lambasted, “The Fourth Kind.”