Posted on Wednesday, November 4th, 2009 by Peter Sciretta
While covering the American Film Market, Bloody Disgusting discovered the names of the three main cast members for director Oren Peli‘s Area 51, the filmmaker’s follow-up to the indie supernatural thriller viral sensation Paranormal Activity. Peli is not going Hollywood yet, and keeping it low-key, with three virtually unknown actors - Reid Warner, Darrin Bragg and Ben Rovner.
Aside from Warner’s one-episode small guest spots on The Unit and Eli Stone, the trio have been virtually unseen in both movies and television. It seems to me to be a smart move on many levels. First of all it allows Peli to keep the costs low — the estimated budget is around $5 million, which will probably go mostly toward effects. Second of all, not using any established or known actors allows Peli to play with the audience’s perceptions of real/cinema, as he did with Activity.
Peli began shooting Area 51, another found-video thriller which is described as a “claustrophobic terror”, last month in Utah. Peli is trying to keep details under wraps, saying “I’d rather not say anything about ‘Area 51′ except that I am very pleased to be working with the same team who stood by me for the two or three years it took ‘Paranormal Activity’ to get into theaters.”
All we know is that the new film will have a “significantly larger budget than the $11,000 that was spent on Paranormal Activity, the story will be framed in a “found footage” narrative, and will center around “three teenagers whose curiosity leads them to the legendary and mysterious Area 51 Air Force base deep in the Nevada desert.” You can read the original press release below.
PELI TO EXPLORE “AREA 51” WITH INCENTIVE AND IM GLOBAL
LOS ANGELES, October 6, 2009 – Writer-director Oren Peli is set to start production next week on AREA 51, his follow-up to the supernatural chiller PARANORMAL ACTIVITY which after creating exceptional underground notoriety since its production in 2007 is now in the early stages of its US release by Paramount.
The AREA 51 storyline is a closely guarded secret but is reputedly centered around three teenagers whose curiosity leads them to the legendary and mysterious Area 51 Air Force base deep in the Nevada desert. AREA 51 will, like PARANORMAL ACTIVITY employ a “found footage” narrative strategy. Though Peli will enjoy a significantly larger budget than the $11,000 he spent to make PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, he will continue to work with undiscovered actors.
AREA 51 is produced by Jason Blum under his Blumhouse Productions banner, with Room 101’s Steven Schneider and IM Global chief Stuart Ford serving as executive producers. The film was co-financed by Aramid Entertainment Fund and Incentive Filmed Entertainment, with IM Global handling worldwide sales and CAA co-repping the title in the U.S.
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY has enjoyed sell out midnight screenings in 33 cities over recent weeks and Paramount is set to expand the film to around the clock screenings in 40 cities this weekend.
Said Peli: “Actually, I’d rather not say anything about AREA 51 except that I am very pleased to be working with the same team who have stood by me for the two or three years it took PARANORMAL ACTIVITY to get into theatres.”
Said Blum: “Oren has already proven that he has a unique gift for using technology and our inherent fear of the unknown to tell simple yet emotionally compelling stories. In this case his canvas is just a little larger.”
Said David Molner, Chairman of both Incentive and Aramid Capital Partners:” Not since ‘Blair Witch’ has such innovative film-making set off such a stampede among young movie audiences. We are proud and privileged to be in business with Oren and Jason and our longtime partners at IM Global.”
Said Ford: “We’ve already had a crazy ride with Oren and Jason on PARANORMAL ACTIVITY that looks set to get even crazier. It’s exciting to be launching into AREA 51 with Oren just as a worldwide audience is discovering his thrilling debut.”