After meeting Carl Sagan years ago, director Robert Zemeckis (Return to the future) decided to shoot Contact (1997), the film in which Jodie Foster found evidence of extraterrestrial life. "When you look at what we know about our giant universe, it is impossible not to expect other worlds (and lives) beyond ours," Zemeckis wrote in a message sent expressly to Mipcom, the television market held this week in Cannes, where Internationally presented his new project as executive producer, the series Project Blue Book, in which he takes up everything he learned with Sagan to not only "delve into those concepts, but to explore the origins of the UFO phenomenon."
Project Blue Book was the name that was given in the USA to the studies carried out around the sighting of unidentified flying objects between 1952 and 1969. With the excuse of the imminent threat after the Second World War and the beginning of the Cold War , they created teams of scientists and military pilots that investigated if those lights, sounds, strange events were explained. "But the reality was that the government created this agency to avoid collective hysteria and to tell people that what they thought they had seen, they had not seen, they were dedicated to creating alternative facts," explains Sean Jablonski (Nip / Tuck), the showrunner of the series. "That is, Project Blue Book were the fake news originals and that makes the series relevant today, because it is related to what we see in the news every day. "
Although it was always known about the existence of this working group, only a few years ago they declassified the documents that accumulated during two decades in which 12,000 reported cases were collected, of which 700 do not yet have a terrestrial and logical explanation. From these data is born the premise of the Zemeckis series that is supported by one of the scientists who participated in the project and ended up being the father of ufology, J. Allen Hynek, which gives life Aidan Gillen, in his first absolute television protagonist after some luxury side (Game of Thrones, Peaky Blinders, The Wire).
"A lot of people know Hynek and he may think he went from being skeptical to believing in aliens because he was an American midwestern teacher who works for 20 years for the government studying UFOs," Gillen explains. "But the reality is that Hynek was always a skeptic and a believer alike, he believed that there were so many things that we can not assume or do not know about the universe, that we should look for the truth." And he dedicated his life to doing it, creating, for example, the classification of the "Close Encounters", the Close Encounters in English "that served Spielberg as inspiration for his Encounters in the third phase", remembers the actor.
Next to Hynek is the captain of the Air Force, Michael Quinn, played by Michael Malarkey (The Vampire Diaries), which is an amalgamation of several real pilots and is the Scully of this couple, the skeptic. "He follows orders without asking questions, but Dr. Hynek comes in and when they start working in a more mathematical and scientific way, he will begin to think about things," he explains.
They have shot 10 episodes, "but there is material for six seasons," said Jablonski at Cannes, half joking half seriously – because, produced by A + E has not yet premiered date, referring to the 700 cases without further explanation all the research that Hynek did inside and outside the Project Blue Book. In addition, it is not a purely science fiction series, since historical recreation is very detailed. "It's like a mixture of Mad Men Y File X "said Malarkey. Magic definition that next to the face of Aidan Gillen more the support of Zemeckis, turned it into one of the most powerful titles presented in this Mipcom. With a final blessing: "Carl Sagan would love it," concluded the director of Contact.