The Countdown Begins at Summit

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Summit is moving forward with Countdown, a sci-fi action tale based on a classic “Twilight Zone” episode, and has attached screenwriter Michael Brandt to direct.

The Hollywood Reporter says Brandt will make his directorial debut with the futuristic film, which revolves around a group of astronauts who land on a planet only to find a crashed spaceship and corpses that eerily resemble their own. They then must piece together where they are and whether they might in fact already be dead.

The episode, titled “Death Ship,” was written by featured “Twilight Zone” scribe Richard Matheson (“I Am Legend”), who based it on his own short story published in a sci-fi magazine a number of years earlier.

Brandt is rewriting the screenplay with his writing partner Derek Haas; it is based on an original screenplay by Stephen Gregg and Scott Burn. Brandt and Haas have collaborated on such movies as 3:10 to Yuma and 2 Fast 2 Furious, and they wrote the screenplay for the upcoming tentpole Wanted from Universal.

The movie, which Brandt said could go into production as early as late summer, is expected to cost in the $30 million range.

“‘Countdown’ is fantastic because it wraps the themes of fate and predestination in a movie that is really a giant puzzle (that will also) be fun for the audience to piece together,” Brandt said.