BURBANK, CA – The Royal Oak Gazette can exclusively report the currently untitled footage to fake SpaceX’s planned Mars landing has been given the green-light and now enters pre-production. The clandestine project had been held up due to an unforeseen difficulty in securing a director. With that roadblock cleared, the soon-to-be-debunked ‘evidence’ of a Martian landing moves forward with a scheduled release in 2024.
In September 2016, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk unveiled the company’s Interplanetary Transport System (ITS) and announced plans to establish a colony on Mars. The accompanying production was said to be stuck in development hell as prototypes for the spacecraft were tested and refined. But after the March 2017 NASA announcement of its Deep Space Transport (DST) and separate plans to land on the red planet, producers and engineers doubled their efforts. It appears the unnamed studio is hoping to avoid a similarly plotted, twin film type-release. A source close to the production confided, “There’s no question, we want to draw first blood. The goal is to be Rambo II and not Commando.”
The anonymous source also outlined the difficulty the soon-to-be-disavowing studio had in attracting A-list talent to take the helm, “The problem we kept running into is that the director can only be rumored to be involved. They must adamantly deny if they are ever asked about their participation. If you remember from the staged moon landing, Stanley Kubrick could never come out and say he was responsible. But now, this generation of filmmakers feels the need to have their name attached to everything they make, no matter how terrible it is. Apparently, this is becoming known as the M. Night Shyamalan Effect.”
The source was keen to add the lessons the studio is taking from the Apollo missions, “Despite their immense popularity at the moment, we aren’t considering this a reboot of the footage from the 60s. We are, however, using that process to avoid making the same mistakes this time around. Only 80-90% of Americans think we actually landed on the moon. With the technological advancement of the last 50 years, we’re hoping to get that number closer to 100%. This time there will be no film oddities, environmental snafus, or missing tapes. We want to make it a whole lot harder for those nerds on the Discovery Channel to thoroughly discredit the incoherent ramblings coming from the internet. They’re going to have to work for their next hour-long special.”
“Without a doubt, Elon’s reputation is on the line. He really needs people to believe a Mars landing is possible. We understand we’re fighting an uphill battle against the public’s belief that we can actually get there. That’s why The Martian was nominated as a comedy at the Golden Globes. It’s laughably unbelievable!”
As with all of Musk’s endeavors, grandiose thinking with an ambitious time frame are not in short supply. His high standards and flair for the dramatic almost derailed the project early on, “You know Elon,” the source said. “It has to be bigger and better than everyone else. He doesn’t want to use extra footage from a one-off film like they did with 2001: A Space Odyssey. He wants a series of fully fleshed-out films. A secret franchise, if you will. We heard several pitches before we found one he’d sign off on.”
A leaked synopsis of the script tells the story of space tourists settling their long-standing grievances with each other on a foreign planet—in this case, Mars. Several frenzied battles, with no regard for the well-being of the native Martians, punctuate the enduring feud. It’s never fully explained why they’re fighting but the studio is apparently hoping the explosive set pieces will convince an inexplicably wide audience of the mission’s veracity.
“Since the beginning, the goal has been to make the film believable. But we also know the internet is going to have its fun. We needed someone who was a competent enough filmmaker, yet left glaring plot holes that don’t hold up under the slightest criticism. The colonization of Mars will take several missions so we had to find someone comfortable basically making the same movie over and over again. Of course, I can’t tell you who it is, but let me just say our choice could be described as… transformative.”
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Mark Wahlberg as cast in the lead role. Our source indicates that no casting decisions have been made but did agree that, “…it obviously sounds like a Mark Wahlberg movie.”