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Everything We Know About The Ancient Aliens Movie

Throw away your textbooks and grab your crystals because the History channel docu-series Ancient Aliens is being adapted into a feature film.

Since 2009, the popular show has been introducing viewers to the ideas behind the pseudo-scientific theory that there is evidence of alien visitation and intervention throughout the historic record. The series itself and the theory at its center have also become somewhat of a cultural phenomenon. Memes of Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, one of the show's most frequent guests, proclaiming that anything and everything "must be aliens" can be found across social media.

There's no word yet on whether Tsoukalos will make an appearance in the film. However, according to Deadline, we do know that the upcoming movie will be coming courtesy of the team behind the Netflix hit Cobra Kai. Josh Heald, who co-created the Karate Kid sequel series and helmed several of the episodes, will be directing the feature. Fellow Cobra Kai co-creators Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg will serve as producers.

Not much else is known about the project at this seemingly early stage of development. Based on a short logline, it sounds as though the film will be an Indiana Jones or National Treasure style "globe-spanning adventure." Deadline also quotes Heald as saying the film will tell an "epic story."

One thing that will be fascinating to see is exactly how the movie adaptation handles the series' subject matter, which has captured the imagination of fans and the ire of critics.

The controversial history of Ancient Aliens

Ancient Aliens began life with a pilot episode that focused on the work of author Erich von Däniken. His 1968 book Chariots of the Gods? helped popularize the theory that at various points in history, extraterrestrial beings visited Earth and influenced humanity in a variety of ways.

Using von Däniken's work as its jumping-off point, the series has continued on for 16 seasons. Throughout the course of its run, a variety of self-proclaimed ancient alien experts have presented what they claim to be evidence of historic alien sightings. Ranging from illustrations on the tombs of Mayan kings to stories of angels from the Bible, the show often looks to provide an alternative perspective on a variety of historic topics.

While the show has proved to be enduring in its popularity, it has also been met with quite a bit of criticism and controversy. Writing for The Awl, Jon Coumes called the series "everything that's wrong with America." They argued that the show's approach to the facts is akin to climate change denialism and birtherism and called it "a full-on assault against truth."

Meanwhile, science writer Riley Black noted in The Smithsonian that the series employs a debate technique known as Gish Gallop, named for a famous young-earth creationist. They wrote that in lieu of provable facts, the show instead uses "a series of misinterpretations and falsehoods to bury [its] opponent under an avalanche of fictions and distortions."

How the show's popularity and backlash will come to bear on the film version remains to be seen. But never fear, we'll have our eyes on the skies for more information about the upcoming Ancient Aliens movie.