Oscar winner Robert Zemeckis is nearing a deal to direct the sci-fi thriller Ares for Warner Bros. and Dan Lin‘s Rideback, Collider has confirmed.
Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Captain Marvel) wrote the genre-bending screenplay, which follows 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.
Ares was previously set up at MGM, with Roland Emmerich set to produce under his Centropolis Entertainment banner. MGM put the project in turnaround, though Emmerich remains involved as an executive producer.
Zemeckis will produce Ares with his ImageMovers partners Jack Rapke and Steve Starkey, as well as Kristin Winkler, while Rideback’s Ryan Halprin will executive produce along with Jackie Levine.
Zemeckis recently wrapped WB’s adaptation of Roald Dahl‘s The Witches starring Anne Hathaway, and he’s also developing Disney’s long-gestation live-action remake of Pinocchio, though it’s unclear what his next project will be, or whether Pinocchio is in first position to Ares. Either way, Zemeckis is still very much in demand despite his 2018 flop Welcome to Marwen starring Steve Carell, and Warners still believes he’s capable of creating movie magic.
Ares certainly sounds like a project in Zemeckis’ wheelhouse, and with the right lead, this could be a decent-sized hit for Warners. Zemeckis is represented by WME, and The Hollywood Reporter broke the news of his hiring on Ares.