Well known science fiction director J.J. Abrams has taken the reigns of a new four-part docuseries about UFO sightings. The series, aptly named UFO, will debut on streaming service Showtime on 8th August. Abrams' production company Bad Robot will co-produce the series with Glen Zipper, while the director himself will take on the role of Executive Producer.
J.J. Abrams is no stranger to other-worldly phenomenon, having directed box-office sci-fi hits such as Super 8, two Star Trekmovies and two Star Warsentries. The producer's other notable work includes tv-series Lost, Cloverfield,and multiple Mission: Impossible movies. Abrams is rumored to be working on an as yet untitled fourth Star Trekfilm, and is currently producing Mission: Impossible's seventh and eighth editions.
According to showtime, UFO will focus on "our fascination with unidentified flying objects, and what clandestine influence the American government, lucrative private companies, and the military may have in shielding the truth behind extraterrestrial phenomena to further their own agendas."
UFO's synopsis reads: "Ignited by the bombshell New York Times story in 2017 revealing that the Pentagon had been secretly tracking UFOs for years, the series examines the history of the phenomenon through cultural and political touchpoints, including shocking testimony from eyewitnesses across the country. "As the conversation grows more bizarre and reaches the mainstream by virtue of credible investigations into alien encounters, UFO confronts the most enigmatic questions of all: Why do we believe what we believe? And what is the elusive truth beyond this decades long mystery?"
The New York Times' story in 2017 began when Leslie Kean, a reporter for the paper, learned of a secret effort by the pentagon to investigate aerial threats referred to as "unidentified aerial phenomena". The United States military had previously argued, since 1969, that UFO's were not worthy of investigation. Kean's piece went on to investigate the actions taken by the Pentagon, and why their attitude towards the objects had changed. The article even detailed events such as when U.S. Navy pilots had spotted unidentified objects in the sky, and how this had affected the military's thinking on the issue.
Mark Monroe and Paul Crowder are set to direct the docuseries. For Monroe, UFOwill mark just the third time he has sat in the director's chair, having previously worked on documentaries Morning Lightand My Decisions.The filmmaker does, however, have an extensive catalogue of writing credits.
Paul Crowder has directed five other documentaries prior to UFO, these include Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos, Amazing Journey: The Story of The Who, The Real Revolutionaries, The Last Play at Sheaand 1: Life on the Limit. Crowder also has 11 producer credits and 25 as editor, notable amongst these are Morning Light(his previous work with Monroe), MASH: 30th Anniversary Reunion and Pavarotti.Crowder has even made two appearances as an actor, four as himself and has five soundtrack credits.
All four episodes of UFO will become available to stream on Showtime at midnight on 8th August, with a linear release set for 9pm.