One of the many marvellous things about Arrival is the way Eric Heisserer adapted Ted Chiang’s short story, “Story of Your Life”, into a script that stayed true to Chiang’s work while adding new, cinematic elements to the story. Now the Oscar-nominated Heisserer is taking on another film in the sci-fi genre.
It’s called Extinction, and while it’s also about an alien invasion, it sounds completely different in tone from Arrival. You can pretty much deduce that from the title, but per Variety, it’s the tale of “a man beset with a recurring dream of losing his family, followed by a brutal alien invasion of Earth. As he fights for his life, he discovers the strength to protect his family.”
Actor Michael Peña (The Martian, Ant-Man, the upcoming A Wrinkle in Time) has signed on to play the protagonist, with Ben Young (Hounds of Love) directing. It will be interesting to see how Heisserer, whose other credits include Lights Out and the 2011 The Thing, shapes what sounds like a highly sinister portrayal of extraterrestrials in Extinction. His co-scripters are Spenser Cohen (Roland Emmerich’s upcoming Moonfall) and Brad Caleb Kane (TV’s Black Sails).