Robopocalypse vs. Monsterpocalypse: Which DreamWorks Tentpole Will Keep Its Title?

The revolution will not be televised, but the Apocalypse will be filmed, and so: What to call it? DreamWorks principal Steven Spielberg recently confirmed what had been long-suspected: He would start shooting Robopocalypse in January 2012, for a 2013 release by DreamWorks. But hold! At the same studio, Tim Burton is developing Monsterpocalypse, based on the Kaiju-themed strategic board game, aiming for theaters in late 2012.

It’s worth noting that Spielberg clearly takes a more pessimistic view of robotics than Burton: In his Robopocalypse, a robot rebellion is unleashed against the human race, while in Burton’s Monsterpocalypse, giant robots are actually the means by which humanity staves off an intergalactic attack by gigantic monsters from outer space.

So who will change their title first?

A DreamWorks spokesman says that for now, the answer is neither, as Burton hasn’t formally committed to Monsterpocalypse. (Burton’s still awaiting a draft of Dark Shadows at Warner Bros. and will choose between it and John August’s draft of Monsterpocalypse soon.) Still, if Burton does select August’s script, we’ll have what’s known as a situation over at DreamWorks’ marketing department.

So while we can’t say who’d blink first, what is clear is that robots and aliens seem poised to assume the mantle of vampires and zombies as Hollywood’s go-to bogeymen, at least at DreamWorks: The studio is currently in production on Jon Favreau’s Cowboys and Aliens (aliens); Shawn Levy’s Real Steel (robots); I Am Number Four (aliens); and Michael Bay’s Transformers: The Dark of the Moon (robots who are also aliens).

Robopocalypse vs. Monsterpocalypse: Which DreamWorks Tentpole Will Keep Its Title?