Robert Zemeckis in Talks to Direct Sci-Fi Thriller 'Ares' for Warner Bros. (Exclusive)

Robert Zemekis - Getty - H 2020
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Hot action scribe Geneva Robertson-Dworet, who wrote 'Captain Marvel,' penned the original script.

Robert Zemeckis is in final negotiations to direct Ares, a sci-fi thriller quietly set up at Warner Bros. late last year.

The project, with an original script by hot action scribe Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Captain Marvel), was previously set up at MGM, which put the project into turnaround. Roland Emmerich and his Centropolis Entertainment were on board to produce at the time. Emmerich will now act as an executive producer.

In addition to directing, Zemeckis will produce Ares along with his ImageMovers partner Jack Rapke. Also producing is Rideback, the banner run by Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich that was behind the awards contender The Two Popes as well as last year’s billion-dollar hit Aladdin. Kristin Winkler and Aaron Boyd are also producing.

The story, described as genre-bending, 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. 

Rideback's Ryan Halprin will executive produce as will Jackie Levine.

Ares is the second project that Zemeckis is developing. The veteran filmmaker, behind such classics as Back to the Future and Forrest Gump, is also set to direct a live-action remake of Pinocchio for Disney. Both projects are being developed concurrently and it is unclear which would go first.

The director, repped by WME and Gang Tyre, is in postproduction on his latest directorial effort, Warner Bros.' Witches. The adaptation of the Roald Dahl novel stars Anne Hathaway.

Robertson-Dworet, repped by Management 360, is also writing the sci-fi project Artemis for Phil Lord and Chris Miller.