the fall

Steven Spielberg loves his alien movies, which means that Amblin Entertainment, his production company, shares that love of little green men and invaders from Mars and friendly psychic critters with a love for peanut butter candies. So it’s only natural that Amblin would acquire The Fall, a new high concept alien invasion screenplay that sounds like it will fall in line with much of what the company has been producing for the past 35 years. Who knows what this movie will actually look like (or when it will get made), but it certainly sounds promising.

Deadline broke the news of the purchase, reporting that Amblin snatched up Pete Bridges‘ spec script shortly after it started making the rounds before the Fourth of July holiday. Here’s how they describe the basic shape of the film’s plot:

In the midst of an alien invasion, a freshly divorced couple must survive a dangerous real-time journey on foot from downtown Atlanta to the suburbs, where their young children are home alone.

That’s not a lot to go on, but what is there is very interesting. The idea of telling the story of a familial crisis against the backdrop of an alien invasion was explored in Spielberg’s War of the Worlds, which remains one of his most underrated and chilling movies. However, the focus on the divorced couple instead of a deadbeat dad and his kids is a very different dynamic. Especially interesting is the real-time aspect, which has me picturing Before Sunrise set in a city overrun with hostile extra-terrestrials. Great, now I’m picturing Richard Linklater making an alien invasion movie and that’s all I want.

Bridges is a newcomer on the Hollywood scene and The Fall arrives after his previous script, the underwater survival tale Resurface, made the “Black List” of the best un-produced screenplays floating around Hollywood. When it comes to making your first big splash as a screenwriter, few things can top “your work being bought by Steven Spielberg’s production company.”

Amblin getting back to its roots with high concept genre stories like this comes after a wave of imitators have tried to mimic the company’s instantly recognizable taste and style. “Amblin-esque” is a proper buzzword these days, with projects like Netflix’s Stranger Things attempting to capture what makes the company’s filmography so instantly identifiable and beloved. It’s silly to make proclamations based only on a screenplay sale, but The Fall certainly sounds like the kind of movie you’d want to see bearing the Amblin logo.

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