NASA is downplaying a new movie from Dimension Films' that depicts the failed mission of Apollo 18.
The premise of the science fiction horror movie, which opens this week, is that the canceled Apollo 18 mission was actually launched in December 1974 but never returned. The movie claims to be based on secret NASA footage of the mission that was leaked to the media. It's a mockumentary type film with no talking heads, just footage, similar to The Blair Witch Project or Cloverfield.
The movie, starring Lloyd Owen and Warren Christie, was directed by Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego and produced by Kazakh born Timur Bekmambetov. It includes a government cover-up of the mission after it was derailed by parasitic life forms, which attack the Apollo 18 crew.
NASA isn't the biggest fan of the movie. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, NASA's liaison for multimedia, film and television collaborations Bert Ulrich downplayed the film.
'Apollo 18' is not a documentary. The film is a work of fiction, and we always knew that. We were minimally involved with this picture. We never even saw a rough cut. The idea of portraying the Apollo 18 mission as authentic is simply a marketing ploy, said Ulrich.
Ulrich and NASA didn't seem too pleased with Dimension Films' President Bob Weinstein playing up the mock, saying, It's not fiction. The footage was found, baby!
NASA collaborates with various fiction and nonfiction films. According to the L.A. Times article, last year alone NASA helped out with 100 documentaries, 35 TV shows and 16 feature films.
However, the fictitious nature of Apollo 18 went too far for NASA.
The science was just so off the wall that eventually we felt, 'You guys go ahead and make your movie.' If there's something that's going to be so misleading to the public that we don't want to participate, then we'll say no, said Ulrich.
Here's the trailer: