Robert Zemeckis Will Direct Sci-Fi Thriller 'Ares'

Robert Zemeckis, who currently has The Witches in post-production, already has something new lined-up. The filmmaker is set to helm Ares, a sci-fi thriller from Captain Marvel writer Geneva Robertson-Dworet. The story follows an astronaut who discovers his mission was part of a much bigger conspiracy. And knowing Zemeckis, the film will probably be filled with a lot of special effects.THR has the news about Ares, the new sci-fi thriller from director Robert Zemeckis. The project is being described as "genre-bending" and "tells of an astronaut whose space capsule crash lands in an African desert. As he rushes to reunite with his family, it is revealed that the mission was part of a larger conspiracy and that he may be carrying a secret that could forever change the world."

Roland Emmerich and his Centropolis Entertainment were previously developing the film for MGM, but now the project is at Warner Bros. Emmerich will still earn himself an executive producer credit. Geneva Robertson-Dworet, whose credits include the 2018 Tomb RaiderCaptain Marvel, and the still-unmade Gotham City Sirens, wrote the original script. Zemeckis is also still developing a live-action remake of Pinocchio at Disney, and there's no word yet which of these two projects he'll helm first.

Here's the thing: this news would've been pretty exciting...several years ago. Don't get me wrong: I'm all for original, non-franchise stories – Hollywood needs more of them these days. But having Zemeckis attached to a film no longer carries the weight it once did. Zemeckis has earned his legendary status thanks to titles like Back to the Future and Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and I'll always be grateful to him for making Contact, a fantastic sci-fi drama that I love with all my heart. But in recent years, Zemeckis' output has been disappointing at best and downright awful at worst. He's become obsessed with trying to push the boundaries with tech to the point where his movies lack heart and soul.

His forays into motion-capture are nearly unwatchable (Beowulf is kind of okay, I guess, but Polar Express and A Christmas Carol are both dreadful). And while he shows a spark of excitement here and there – like the first half of Flight – his glory days seem long gone. Then there's his most recent film, the absolutely abysmal Welcome to Marwen, one of the worst movies in the last ten years. After seeing that, I personally lost any enthusiasm for something new from Zemeckis.

But who knows – Ares might be the title that changes that, whenever he gets around to making it.