In news that may take some of you completely by surprise, the great Michael Peña has a movie coming out at the end of the month: alien-invasion thriller Extinction, in which he stars alongside Lizzy Caplan as a father with recurring dreams of his family being destroyed by an unknown force. When an extraterrestrial armada arrives to destroy Earth, however, these visions may hold the only key to salvation.
Now, Extinction hasn’t had the easiest path to the big screen; like Alex Garland’s stunning sci-fi achievement Annihilation, it can lay claim to the dubious distinction of being too tonally tricky to market. Put more simply, after a few zigs and zags across Universal Pictures’ release calendar, the studio ended up pulling Extinction altogether, selling worldwide distribution rights to Netflix, which — with today’s first trailer — has plotted a July 27 release for the film. Whereas Paramount gave Annihilation a stateside theatrical release, pawning off rollouts in other countries to Netflix, Extinction isn’t even getting that, which is never a great sign.
And yet, today’s first trailer for the Ben Young-directed flick paints a rather promising picture, teasing a sci-fi riff on Take Shelter that transforms into a War of the Worlds-esque survival thriller. Young’s 2016 directorial debut Hounds of Love was one of the most psychologically complex horror-thrillers to come along in quite some time, and the prospect of pairing him with an actor as versatile as Peña sounds on paper like a slam dunk.
For Netflix, the title represents another high-caliber foray into sci-fi in a year that’s already seen the streaming giant roll out The Cloverfield Paradox, TAU, Mute, The Titan, and sci-fi series Altered Carbon to considerable success. Luckily, those wondering why Universal looked the other way with this one don’t have long to wait. Extinction will hit Netflix on July 27.