SDCC: A First Look at The Darkest Hour


Summit Entertainment hosted a special event this morning adjacent to Comic-Con, showing off artwork, stills and the first trailer from their upcoming alien invasion film The Darkest Hour. Filmed on-location in Moscow, the story involves a group of survivors battling against an invading alien force that has nearly conquered the planet.

Emile Hirsch and Max Minghella are friends and business partners who travel to the Russian city before the invasion. They have a night on the town and meet up with Olivia Thirlby and Rachael Taylor’s characters in a bar just before the city goes dark. They soon find, however, that it’s not just Moscow that has lost power; it’s the entire world.

The aliens of the film are electricity-based and tend to be invisible unless they’re attacking. The one clue to knowing when they’re approaching is that power returns to the immediate vicinity, leading the band of survivors to gather light bulbs to use as signals.

Though the aliens take control of the planet immediately, depleting the world’s energy resources, a band of resistance fighters springs up, using scientific technology to combat the invaders. The group meets a Russian scientist (Dato Bakhtadze), who has devised a mobile form of a Faraday cage (a real-world device that prevents electricity from doing harm to an individual). In his apartment, he’s even applied the principle to his cat and manages to build versions of the device for Russian freedom fighters to use in combat. (One piece of production art has a soldier on his horse, both making use of the device).

When the aliens do manage to attack, they literally shred people to pieces. Though all we see is yellow/orange energy, it’s hinted that we’ll learn a lot more about what the aliens look like and where they come from before the end of the film.

It was also just revealed today that the film will have a spinoff comic book tie-in, to be published by Oni Press. 19 artists will be participating in the event, including Ben Templesmith, Jeremy Haun, Pia Guerra and Mateus Santolouco. Since the events of the film are confined to Moscow, the series will showcase what happens during the invasion all over the world.

The trailer is expected to be online sometime next week but, in the meantime, you can check out the just-released concept art and comic book images from the film below. Also, check back soon for an exclusive interview with the film’s director, Chris Gorak, and actor Emile Hirsch.

The Darkest Hour hits 3D and 2D theaters on December 23, 2011.

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