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Occupation: Rainfall Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 incoming, new cast members announced

May 28, 2022 by Gary Collinson

In news coming out of Cannes, director Luke Sparke’s Sparke Films and Film Mode Entertainment have announced that two sequels to the 2020 sci-fi action film Occupation: Rainfall are in development, with Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 set to shoot back-to-back in Australia starting later this year. The official synopsis for Chapter 2 reads:

Survival or extinction. Earth’s resistance is thrown into chaos as an ominous new threat ruthlessly hunts down the humans that are left, and any aliens who have joined them. With no clear leader and struggling to find common ground, the resistance finds itself on the brink of destruction. Aboard the Mothership, a group of survivors, plan to strike at the heart of the Alien threat – the Rainfall weapon – as the fate of all life hangs in the balance.

Occupation: Rainfall Chapter 2 will see the return of cast members Jason Isaacs, Jet Tranter, Dan Ewing, Zac Garred, Charles Mesure, and Dena Kaplan, while new additions include Jeremy Piven ( Entourage ) Casper Van Dien ( Starship Troopers ), Tricia Helfer ( Battlestar Galactica ), Liam McIntyre ( Spartacus ) and Danny Trejo ( Machete ).

“It’s been a genuine thrill to see Occupation: Rainfall find its audience as it rolled out around the world,” states Sparke. “Every day, it finds new fans and the feedback from them has been amazingly supportive. I’m so happy that I can bring my vision for the ‘Rainfall Trilogy’ to the screens very, very soon. They are bigger, better and bombastic but also uniquely grounded in humanity and what it means to be a member of this planet. Filming these stories back-to-back later this year will be a huge challenge but one I’m excited to deep dive into with the amazing cast and crew we are gathering. It’s a celebration of sci/fi!”

“We are thrilled to be continuing the Rainfall saga and introducing the fans to some more memorable and unique characters and landscapes in this next chapter. This film is going to show the world that Sparke Films has taken this whole story to a new level of mind blowing and epic sci fi action and that is just the beginning,” added producers Carly Sparke and Carmel Imrie.

SEE ALSO: Read our review of Occupation: Rainfall here

Occupation: Rainfall is itself a sequel to Sparke Films’ earlier alien invasion film Occupation , which was released in 2018 and followed a group of Australians who form a resistance after their town is enslaved by extraterrestrials.

About Gary Collinson

Gary Collinson is a film, television and digital content producer and writer, founder of the pop culture website FlickeringMyth.com, and producer of the upcoming gothic horror feature film 'The Baby in the Basket'. He previously spent a decade teaching and lecturing in film and media, and is also the author of the book 'Holy Franchise, Batman! Bringing the Caped Crusader to the Screen'.

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Occupation: Rainfall (2020)

Full cast & crew.

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Additional Crew 

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Thanks 

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‘Occupation: Rainfall’ Ending, Explained – What was Project Rainfall?

Occupation Rainfall Ending Explained Australian 2021 Film Luke Sparke

Occupation: Rainfall , an Australian Space War film, follows a resistance group fighting an alien invasion hell-bent on eradicating humanity from the planet. The film, written by Luke Sparke, gives a “major” Star Wars vibe. However, irrespective of its grand endeavors, the film fails to make an impact. It captures the disparities between alien and human colonies and attempts to promote harmony, but its journey fails to elicit the necessary emotions.

Occupation: Rainfall is a direct sequel to the 2018 Australian sci-fi film, Occupation. The premise follows the hunt for a secret project named Rainfall that can change the fate of war.

‘Occupation: Rainfall’ Plot Summary

Set in an unknown future, Occupation: Rainfall begins with a central character voice-over. Amelia, a human from planet Earth, informs us about the alien mother ship that arrived two years ago, out of nowhere. It sent thousands of unmanned drones to exterminate humanity from the face of Earth. But a handful of people stood up against the invasion to end the war. In their pursuit, the resistance group even gained the support of an allied alien group called the Greys.

The film begins as the elite resistance forces attack an alien colony in Western Sydney commanded by Wing Commander Hayes (Daniel Gillies). During the counterattack, the resistance army faces a lethal alien soldier called Kali.

In the other part of the city, a human peacemaker, Amelia Chambers (Jet Tranter), meets a fugitive group of Greys (aliens) and brings them to the Resistance HQ. In exchange, Gary the Alien provides them with intel about the elite alien forces, Kali, the protectors of the Elders. He also informs them about a secret project, Rainfall.

The resistance group and the alien fugitives reach the underground HQ. However, the disparities between the two communities result in a subtle conflict between them. Commander Hayes proposes an immediate evacuation as the Grey forces approach closer. However, the Rainfall project’s discussions limit any hasty decisions.

Captain Wessex reveals that Rainfall was the code name for Pine Gap, an American base in Central Australia. If the Kali aliens are here for Rainfall, there must be something important hidden in the American base.

Hayes commands his loyal soldiers, Matt Simmons (Dan Ewing) and Gary, the Alien, to infiltrate Pine Gap and learn more about the project’s Rainfall. While the resistance group prepares for a final evacuation to a secure military command in the Blue Mountains.

Major Spoilers Ahead

What was Project Rainfall?

After facing a series of deadly attacks, Matt Simmons, Gary, Amelia’s younger brother, Marcus, an old friend of Simmons, Peter Bartlett, and his daughter Isabella finally reached Pine Gap. At the American Surveillance Base, the team met American operative Bud Miller and his alien companion, Steve.

Bud Miller showed the group a large meteorite and explained it was discovered in 1966 embedded in the seafloor. For some reason, the scientists shipped it to the Pine Gap. The team deciphered that it was the same meteorite that helped wipe out the dinosaurs. The Grey Aliens shot it from their world to set a planet up and wipe out their population. This was Project Rainfall.

After the Grey planet was destroyed, the aliens looked for a new surface to call home. Searching through the galaxy, they arrived on Earth that favored their survival. Maybe they tried to habit the planet when dinosaurs walked on the surface and thus sent the meteorite to wipe them out. However, when they arrived 2 years ago from a galaxy far away, the humans thrived on the planet and colonized it.

The aliens wanted to take back their meteorite and reshoot it towards Earth to terminate humanity and colonize the planet.

Occupation Rainfall Ending Explained Australian 2021 Film Luke Sparke

‘Occupation: Rainfall’ Ending Explained

While Matt and his team went out to Pine Gap to look for Project Rainfall, Amelia and Abraham reached military command with Greys’ women and children. At the command base, Amelia suspected Commander Hayes’ intention after all the Grey Alien went missing. She investigated the facility and found out that Hayes had been torturing and experimenting on the aliens to create a bioweapon to wipe them out.

Amelia revealed Hayes’ secret slaughter and argued that his alien bioweapon would kill their allied alien group. However, it was all Hayes wanted, to wipe them all out of the planet. After Hayes’ intention was made public, Abraham relieved Hayes of his command and took charge of the facility. But at the exact moment, the aliens attacked their secret base.

Captain Wessex and the Australian pilots tried to resist the attacks while others prepared for an immediate evacuation. The Alien leader called Amelia and Abraham for a peace treaty but killed Abraham brutally. Amelia managed to run.

In Pine Gap, Matt and his company decided to explode the meteorite to never be used. However, accidentally, Gary the Alien activated the meteorite that revealed its position to the aliens. Gary told them that he was a Kali soldier too, but he believed in peace instead of bloodshed. Before the company could explore the meteorite, Kali soldiers attacked the base, and an alien ship pulled up the meteorite and carried it away. Along with their weapon, they also took Matt, Gary, Marcus, and Isabella hostage. Their fate would be followed further in Chapter 2 of Operation Rainfall.

In the Blue Mountains, the aliens destroyed the facility. Amelia confronted Hayes and suffocated him with his own bioweapon. After Hayes died, Captain Wessex took command and initiated the immediate evacuation. Amelia took humans and aliens and left the base before the aliens torched it to pieces. Amelia also took the bioweapon cylinders that resistance might use in the upcoming chapters.

The convoy reached Peter Bartlett’s village to take shelter. From their new base, they would probably initiate a new strategy to safeguard the planet from Project Rainfall and save Matt, Gary, Marcus, and Isabella from Alien’s captivity.

Occupation: Rainfall is a 2020 Space Science Fiction film written and directed by Luke Sparke .

Shikhar Agrawal

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Australian sci-fi sequel has violence, more language.

Occupation: Rainfall Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Courage and teamwork are displayed, usually in com

The human characters work together to battle invad

Soldiers fire pistols and heavy artillery in comba

Passionate kissing. Character removes another's sh

Language used includes "f--king," "f--k," "d--k,"

Character is scolded about his greedy appetite for

Character jokingly refers to an evacuation mission

Parents need to know that Occupation: Rainfall is an Australian sci-fi sequel, that continues humankind's battle with invading alien forces, with mostly non-explicit violence and some strong language. The movie recycles many of the positive messages from the original, as the main cast are made to overcome, or…

Positive Messages

Courage and teamwork are displayed, usually in combat. The idea of overcoming differences is also explored.

Positive Role Models

The human characters work together to battle invading alien forces. They also work with alien allies who do not want to take over Earth. But some human characters express "racist" views about aliens, insult them based on the color of their skin, and tease them for not understanding human culture. They also occasionally fight among themselves and betray one another. Characters discuss PTSD and their mental health. Cast are made up of different genders, nationalities, and races. Female characters shown in leadership positions.

Violence & Scariness

Soldiers fire pistols and heavy artillery in combat. Invading aliens use pulse rifles and flaming swords, and fire lasers from spacecraft. Explosions, bloody injuries, and death. Character punches and kicks a bag as part of their training and exercise. They later use their training in self-defense when fighting others. Repeated punches and kicks shown as groups attack unarmed victims, beating them with clubs. Dead alien bodies shown lynched. An alien's head explodes when shot at point-blank range -- gray blood spatter is cartoonish rather than gory. Character stabbed through the chest with a spear.

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.

Sex, Romance & Nudity

Passionate kissing. Character removes another's shirt. Sex is implied but not shown.

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.

Language used includes "f--king," "f--k," "d--k," "piece of s--t," "bastards," "a--hole," and "pissed." "Jesus Christ" used as an exclamation. "Maggot" also used as an insult.

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.

Products & Purchases

Character is scolded about his greedy appetite for comic effect.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Character jokingly refers to an evacuation mission as a "non-smoking" flight.

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Occupation: Rainfall is an Australian sci-fi sequel , that continues humankind's battle with invading alien forces, with mostly non-explicit violence and some strong language. The movie recycles many of the positive messages from the original, as the main cast are made to overcome, or at least set aside their differences, in order to work together. But the addition of some alien characters create different divides and allegiances as both humans and aliens are a mix of those who want to work together and those who do not trust those who are not like them. Most of the violence is between humans and aliens and is fairly cartoonish. But it does include an exploding alien head with gray blood splatter. The humans fight with guns and explosives, while the aliens use laser-rifles and fire down on soldiers and civilians from their spaceships. Other fight scenes involve punching and kicking, and the use of weapons such as clubs and spears. The language is intermittent, but more regular than the first movie, and includes variants of "f--k," "s--t," "d--k," and "a--hole." Two of the characters, Amelia (Jet Tranter, replacing Stephany Jacobsen from the first movie) and Captain Wessex ( Mark Coles Smith ) are in a relationship. In one scene they kiss passionately and she removes his shirt, showing him topless from the back. Sex is implied but not shown. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails .

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Community Reviews

  • Parents say (3)

Based on 3 parent reviews

Feel good action

Could of been great., what's the story.

Two years after aliens first invaded Earth, OCCUPATION: RAINFALL picks up the action as a group of humans in Australia must come together in order to survive.

Is It Any Good?

Low-cost Australian sci-fi "blockbuster" Occupation found a surprise international audience on streaming services. Occupation: Rainfall , the sequel the original's ending hinted at, is delivered with a bigger budget than perhaps anyone expected. Once again, co-writer and director Luke Sparke leans in hard to his obvious love of intergalactic Hollywood adventures of years gone by, this time with a much better-funded visual effects team to back him up. The aliens are more convincing, the explosions are bigger, and the battle sequences last (much) longer.

The problem is that character development is now almost completely missing in action. New additions bloat the size of the main cast with little explanation about who they are or why they matter. Second-half cameos from Ken Jeong and Jason Isaacs crank up the odd-couple humor. But their scenes play like they belong in a different movie, given that most of the dialogue before that point is exposition yelled over gunfire. This is a well-funded B-movie with a convoluted search for a deadly weapon at its center and no surprises along the way. Not least that a third installment in the series is reportedly in the works.

Talk to Your Kids About ...

Families can talk about the action scenes in Occupation: Rainfall . Did you enjoy them, find them scary , or both? Were there any scenes that surprised you? Does exposure to violent media desensitize kids to violence?

Talk about the strong language in the movie. Did it seem necessary or excessive? What did it contribute to the movie?

How do the characters demonstrate teamwork and courage ? Why are they such important character strengths ?

Discuss the relationship between humans and aliens. What did you think of their attitudes toward each other? What does the movie tell us about how some people judge others who aren't like them?

How did this movie compare to the first film? What were the similarities and differences?

Movie Details

  • In theaters : June 11, 2021
  • On DVD or streaming : June 11, 2021
  • Cast : Dan Ewing , Lawrence Makoare , Jet Tranter
  • Director : Luke Sparke
  • Studio : Saban Films
  • Genre : Science Fiction
  • Topics : Space and Aliens
  • Run time : 128 minutes
  • MPAA rating : R
  • MPAA explanation : language
  • Last updated : February 4, 2024

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Currently you are able to watch "Occupation: Rainfall" streaming on Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Prime Video with Ads or for free with ads on The Roku Channel, Tubi TV. It is also possible to rent "Occupation: Rainfall" on Amazon Video, Apple TV, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Fandango At Home, Microsoft Store online and to download it on Amazon Video, Apple TV, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Fandango At Home, Microsoft Store.

Two years after aliens land on Earth, survivors from Sydney, Australia, fight in a desperate war as the number of casualties continue to grow.

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Dan Ewing in Occupation: Rainfall

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Occupation: Rainfall

Australia is invaded – again – in a locally made science-fiction action extravaganza for our times

Nick Dent

Time Out says

Alien invasion hasn’t been this apocalyptically hokey since Will Smith squared off against the tentacled hordes of Independence Day . In Occupation: Rainfall – too bad the title  Australia Day  was taken – the land down under is two years into a struggle against the colonising ‘Greys’. Vast warships hover over Sydney Harbour, the famous bridge is a smouldering ruin and the once-sunny CBD is shrouded in a permanent night (Parramatta’s prospects as an alternative city centre are looking better and better).

Desperate bands of good-looking freedom fighters such as Matt Simmons (Dan Ewing) battle squads of invaders who hide their scaly faces behind campy battle armour. Word comes of a mysterious plot device known as ‘Rainfall’ that has something to do with the former US military base at Pine Gap, and Simmons is dispatched along with inscrutable good-guy extra-terrestrial Garry (Lawrence Makaore) and plucky stowaway Marcus (Trystan Go) to find out what help it could possibly be against the alien threat. And when that turns out to involve The Hangover ’s Ken Jeong as the beerily-named Bud Miller and his pop-culture obsessed alien buddy Steve (voiced by Harry Potter ’s Jason Isaacs), all pretence at seriousness is banished, and it’s time to put your feet up on the seat in front of you and try not to spill your popcorn. 

Writer-director Luke Sparke is something of a miracle worker. Filmed on the Gold Coast, his $30 million movie looks and sounds like it cost four times that, with rip-roaring action and special effects that dwarf any independently produced feature made in Australia since, well, his previous one in this series – Occupation from 2018. That film made barely a blip on the local box office, but thanks in part to the shortage of major Hollywood fare in 2021, the sequel is getting a massive PR campaign and a release on 175 local screens. Sparke, who also edited the film, seems to have been raised on a breakfast cereal called Blockbuster Tropes – there’s barely a scene here that doesn’t come across like a retread of something from Star Wars , Lord of the Rings , Michael Bay, James Cameron or Marvel. And despite a brazen lack of originality, it’s also a movie that is disturbingly resonant for our times, with a subtext for every trauma Australia is currently facing.

Rainfall? We wish: the film's portrayal of a smoke-choked Sydney brings back the nightmare of the Black Summer. Its main plotline of an Antipodean invasion can’t help but resonate in a week when the campaign to Change the Date has never been more heated (Indigenous actor Mark Coles Smith has a major role as one of the key freedom fighters). There’s even a racism/refugee subplot: hundreds of benign aliens have flooded into town seeking asylum, and it’s the rare human like Amelia (Jet Tranter) who has the heart to help them out. (Keep an eye out for Temuera Morrison’s Atticus Finch moment, up against Vince Colosimo’s would-be alien lyncher.) And even though the film involves the evacuation of Sydney for a vast facility hidden under one of the Blue Mountains, we’re told that the country has gotten off lightly compared to the northern hemisphere. Yes – whether by sheer coincidence or not, it’s a Covid film through and through. Sometimes even cheesy movies can be a perfect distillation of the zeitgeist.

Occupation: Rainfall opens January 28 in Australia.

Cast and crew.

  • Director: Luke Sparke
  • Temuera Morrison
  • Jet Tranter
  • Jason Isaacs
  • Lawrence Makoare

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Film Combat Syndicate

OCCUPATION: RAINFALL Review: Second installment is more of a drizzle than downpour

Cathy LaFrance Reviews luke sparke , occupation rainfall , saban films 0

Alien invasion films are nothing new, so it can be hard to find a new twist. In Luke Sparke’s 2020 release Occupation: Rainfall , viewers are offered a familiar problem with some nuance: what if the aliens aren’t the only bad guys?

As a sequel to his 2018 film Occupation, Sparke continues the saga of a motley band of Australians who make up the grass-roots resistance against the invaders, the Greys. (Remember, there’s more than one accepted spelling of gray/grey, Americans! And this is an Australian film. Don’t at me.)

The Australian government and military are vastly outgunned, seemingly as the rest of the world — it’s made abundantly clear that neither the American or British will be of any help, as they are having their own struggles. But far from dependent on any other states, the government makes its own plan to combat the aliens. This is one of the places where the nuance of the film begins to develop. Counter to the government’s intent to rid the continent (and the world) of the alien invaders, some of the aliens defect and align themselves with humans who are seeking peace and co-existence. This riles both the aliens — who claim to have put “dibs” on planet Earth in a unique evolutionary plot twist — and the humans, who are understandably trying not to be permanently removed from their home. In the typical “us vs. them” sci fi showdown, there is clearly an evil force that needs to be reckoned with. In Occupation: Rainfall, evil can be found on both sides of the war.

Wars do drag on, but the battle scenes and the lead up to the actual plot really take longer than necessary. Although the special effects are decent, there are just too many needless battle scenes that do nothing to further the action. The first hour of the 2-hour-plus film is full of battle scenes, and even some sub plots that could have been shortened without losing their effect or importance. Several characters from the original film continue their fight in this installment, including sister-and-brother main characters Amelia and Marcus Chambers (Jet Tranter [who replaced Stephany Jacobsen] and Trystan Go) and father-daughter team of Peter and Bella Bartlett (everyone’s favorite original bounty hunter Temuera Morrison and Izzy Stevens). Morrison brings needed gravitas to the film, which is hit-or-miss with dialogue and acting.

There are, however, several light bits of comedy, courtesy of northern hemisphere actors Ken Jeong and Jason Isaacs, who play the Odd Couple of American scientist and government representative Bud Miller and Steve the Alien, respectively. Steven the Alien seems to have been on Earth and under Bud’s tutelage for years before the 2018 alien landing, and he is full of American pop culture references and slang — a huge impediment for Garry, who is still getting the hang of his adopted language.

As the race to solve the mystery of the aliens’ search for “Rainfall” closes in, the grass roots resistance manages to save the alien race from total destruction. However, the aliens escape with Marcus, Bella, Garry, and military man with a soft heart Matt Simmons (Dan Ewing, also reprising his role) stowed away in the spaceship. The aliens have found their “Rainfall” and it’s evident that the next installment will show us how the humans and alien rebels will continue to fight to stay alive, and perhaps co-exist.

movie project rainfall

Viewers can watch this film without having seen the first movie in this series, although it may be advisable to do so. Sparke teases us with the next installment, ostensibly called Operation: Rainfall Chapter 2

Occupation: Rainfall is available now in select US movie theaters, on DVD and Blu Ray, and streaming via iTunes, Google Play, and Vudu.

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Cathy LaFrance

Cathy Kramer LaFrance (she/her) 

A solid Gen Xer from the southern shore of Lake Michigan. Star Wars apologist. Eowyn stan. Unabashed Whovian. Bad b-movie lover, a la Svengoolie and MST3K.  Music trivia nerd and record collector.  Gluten free and proud of it.

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Occupation: Rainfall — Official Trailer

source:   youtube.com

added: Fri, Apr 30th '21

Check out the official U.S. trailer for "Occupation: Rainfall," the sequel to 2018's Australian sci-fi action thriller from writer-director Luke Sparke.

The effects-heavy film, which stars Dan Ewing (Love and Monsters), Temuera Morrison (The Mandalorian), Daniel Gillies (The Originals), and Ken Jeong (The Hangover), is set two years into an intergalactic invasion of Earth. Deadly space aliens have invaded and occupated the planet, forcing human survivors to take up arms. Their last hope for survival is a secret operation called "project: rainfall."

"Occupation: Rainfall" will be arriving in U.S. theaters and on VOD beginning on June 11th. Watch the U.S. trailer, above.

synopsis: Filmmaker Luke Sparke's highly anticipated follow-up to OCCUPATION picks up two years into an intergalactic invasion of Earth where survivors in Sydney are fighting back in a desperate ground war. As casualties mount by the day, the resistance and their unexpected allies uncover a plot that could see the war come to a decisive end. With the alien invaders' hell-bent on making Earth their new home, the race is on to save mankind.

directed by   Luke Sparke

starring   Dan Ewing, Temuera Morrison, Ken Jeong, Daniel Gillies, Lawrence Makoare, Mark Coles Smith, Jet Tranter, Ben Chisholm, Jason Isaacs (voice)

release date   June 11, 2021 (in theaters and on VOD, U.S.)

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Bloody Disgusting!

‘Occupation: Rainfall Chapter 2’ – Casper Van Dien and Danny Trejo Join Sci-Fi Sequel

' src=

Clay Epstein’s Film Mode Entertainment and Luke Sparke’s Sparke Films have just announced the next feature films in the sci-fi action thriller Occupation: Rainfall franchise, Occupation: Rainfall Chapter 2 .

With the Cannes market in full swing, they’ve announced that the film will star Jeremy Piven ( Judgment Night ), Casper Van Dien ( Starship Troopers, The Pact ), Tricia Helfer (“Battlestar Galactica”, “Van Helsing”), Liam McIntyre (“Spartacus”) and Danny Trejo ( Machete ).

Piven, Van Dien, Helfer, McIntyre and Trejo join the powerful ensemble of returning cast members including the voice of Jason Isaacs, Jet Tranter, Dan Ewing, Zac Garred, Charles Mesure, and Dena Kaplan .

In the sequel…

“Survival or extinction. Following the international success of ‘Occupation Rainfall’, comes the continuing chapters of the ‘Rainfall’ trilogy. Earth’s resistance is thrown into chaos as an ominous new threat ruthlessly hunts down the humans that are left, and any aliens who have joined them. With no clear leader and struggling to find common ground, the resistance finds itself on the brink of destruction. Aboard the Mothership, a group of survivors, plan to strike at the heart of the Alien threat – the Rainfall weapon – as the fate of all life hangs in the balance.”

The film is written and directed by Luke Sparke .

A third Rainfall is already in the works and is said to be filmed back-to-back in a custom-built LED volume stage.

Producers are Carly Sparke and Carmel Imrie. CoProducers are Alex Becconsall, Zac Garred, and Liam McIntyre. Executive Producers are Clay Epstein, Geoff Imrie and Luke Sparke.

Film Mode Entertainment is handling worldwide sales rights.

movie project rainfall

Pictured: Casper Van Dien in The Pact

' src=

Horror movie fanatic who co-founded Bloody Disgusting in 2001. Producer on Southbound, V/H/S/2/3/94, SiREN, Under the Bed, and A Horrible Way to Die. Chicago-based. Horror, pizza and basketball connoisseur. Taco Bell daily. Franchise favs: Hellraiser, Child's Play, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Scream and Friday the 13th. Horror 365 days a year.

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What Is Project 2025, and Why Is Trump Disavowing It?

The Biden campaign has attacked Donald J. Trump’s ties to the conservative policy plan that would amass power in the executive branch, though it is not his official platform.

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Kevin Roberts, wearing a dark suit and blue tie and speaking into a microphone at a lectern. The lectern says, “National Religious Broadcasters, nrb.org.”

By Simon J. Levien

Donald J. Trump has gone to great lengths to distance himself from Project 2025, a set of conservative policy proposals for a future Republican administration that has outraged Democrats. He has claimed he knows nothing about it or the people involved in creating it.

Mr. Trump himself was not behind the project. But some of his allies were.

The document, its origins and the interplay between it and the Trump campaign have made for one of the most hotly debated questions of the 2024 race.

Here is what to know about Project 2025, and who is behind it.

What is Project 2025?

Project 2025 was spearheaded by the Heritage Foundation and like-minded conservative groups before Mr. Trump officially entered the 2024 race. The Heritage Foundation is a think tank that has shaped the personnel and policies of Republican administrations since the Reagan presidency.

The project was intended as a buffet of options for the Trump administration or any other Republican presidency. It’s the latest installment in the Heritage Foundation’s Mandate for Leadership series, which has compiled conservative policy proposals every few years since 1981. But no previous study has been as sweeping in its recommendations — or as widely discussed.

Kevin Roberts, the head of the Heritage Foundation, which began putting together the latest document in 2022, said he thought the American government would embrace a more conservative era, one that he hoped Republicans would usher in.

“We are in the process of the second American Revolution,” Mr. Roberts said on Real America’s Voice, a right-wing cable channel, in early July, adding pointedly that the revolt “will remain bloodless if the left allows it to be.”

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UT’s Texas Institute for Electronics Awarded $840M To Build a DOD Microelectronics Manufacturing Center, Advance U.S. Semiconductor Industry

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AUSTIN, Texas — Seeking to ensure America’s national security and global military leadership, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) has selected the Texas Institute for Electronics (TIE) at The University of Texas at Austin to develop the next generation of high-performing semiconductor microsystems for the Department of Defense. Under the agreement, TIE will establish a national open access R&D and prototyping fabrication facility that will enable DOD to create higher performance, lower power, light weight and compact defense systems. Such technology could apply to radar, satellite imaging, unmanned aerial vehicles or other systems.

TIE is a UT Austin-supported semiconductor consortium. The new microsystem designs will be enabled by 3D Heterogeneous Integration (3DHI) — a semiconductor fabrication technology that integrates diverse materials and components into microsystems using precision assembly technologies.

“By investing in leading-edge microelectronics manufacturing, we are helping secure this vulnerable supply chain, boosting our national security and global competitiveness, and driving innovation in critical technologies,” said U.S. Sen. John Cornyn. “The next generation of high-performing semiconductors these resources will enable through DARPA’s partnership with UT TIE will help not only bolster our defense but also pave the way for the U.S. to reclaim its leadership role in this critical industry, and I look forward to seeing more Texas-led advancements in the years to come.”

The project represents a total investment of $1.4 billion. The $840 million award from DARPA is a substantial return on the Texas Legislature’s $552 million investment in TIE, which has funded modernization of two UT fabrication facilities to strengthen long-term U.S. technology leadership. These facilities will be open to industry, academia and government, and will create dual-use innovations supporting the defense sector and the semiconductor industry, including startups, advancing technology for the betterment of society.

“The University of Texas is honored to use our vast talent and expertise in service to our country,” said Kevin Eltife, chairman of the UT System Board of Regents. “This partnership will allow UT Austin faculty, staff and students to bolster our national defense and further demonstrate the University’s global leadership in technology-related teaching and research. We are grateful for the Legislature’s strong support of the Texas Institute for Electronics as it continues to feed the Texas economy and create unrivaled opportunities for Longhorns to change the world.”

DARPA’s Next Generation Microelectronics Manufacturing (NGMM) Program is among the largest federal awards ever to any UT System institution. Moreover, it represents significant progress aligned with UT President Jay Hartzell’s 10-year strategic plan for UT to become the world’s highest-impact public research university. The scope of work will complement UT’s strengths in AI, robotics, circuit design and novel electronics systems development and will draw on the considerable talent of the Cockrell School of Engineering .

“The old Wayne Gretzky quote is ‘Skate to where the puck is going,’ and we worked with the state of Texas to do just that and to compete, and it paid off,” Hartzell said. “We have an opportunity to not only give our military a competitive edge, but this is the kind of major opportunity that creates jobs, attracts businesses, will grow Austin’s innovation ecosystem and cement Texas as a leader in microsystems innovation. I am grateful to DARPA for recognizing our talent and facilities as a worthy investment. I am equally grateful for Professor S.V. Sreenivasan, one of the world’s leading experts in semiconductors, for his vision and leadership and constructing a team that will achieve great things.”

“TIE is tapping into the semiconductor talent available in the Cockrell School of Engineering, in Texas and nationally to build an outstanding team of semiconductor technologists and executives that can create this national center of excellence in 3DHI microsystems,” said S.V. Sreenivasan, TIE founder and chief technology officer and UT professor of mechanical engineering. “This includes the hiring of John Schreck, formerly senior VP at Micron Technology, as CEO. We are also investing in workforce development across Texas to create an enduring talent ecosystem that can support TIE’s future needs.”

The program is composed of two phases — each 2.5 years in length. In Phase 1, TIE will establish the center’s infrastructure and basic capabilities. In Phase 2, the center will engineer 3DHI hardware prototypes important to the Department of Defense and automate processes. It will also work with DARPA on separately funded design challenges.

“DARPA’s vision for the NGMM program includes developing an infrastructure that enables users to efficiently and accurately develop advanced microsystems meeting the defense industry’s stringent quality and reliability standards. This includes design collateral, EDA tools supporting three-dimensional constructs, and emerging capabilities like digital twins,” said John Schreck, CEO of TIE. “With the support of our consortium partners, TIE’s product development infrastructure and services will enable a true open access facility where future microsystems can be developed for a wide range of customers and can be leveraged for other programs well into the future.”

TIE established its strategic vision during the past three years in collaboration with key partners across the semiconductor ecosystem. TIE’s NGMM team is composed of 32 defense electronics and leading commercial semiconductor companies and 18 nationally recognized academic institutions.

The Texas Institute for Electronics is a UT Austin-supported semiconductor consortium of state and local government, preeminent semiconductor and defense electronics companies, national labs and nationally recognized academic institutions with 84,000 square feet of state-of-the-art clean room space. Founded in 2021, TIE’s goal is to create a nationally recognized center for excellence in 3DHI technology, pilot fabrication facilities and semiconductor workforce development.

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India's plan to reroute rivers could have unintended consequences on rainfall

Emily Kwong, photographed for NPR, 6 June 2022, in Washington DC. Photo by Farrah Skeiky for NPR.

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Once completed, India's National River Linking Project will transfer an estimated 200 billion cubic meters of water around the country each year. STRDEL / Stringer/Getty Images hide caption

Once completed, India's National River Linking Project will transfer an estimated 200 billion cubic meters of water around the country each year.

More than a hundred years ago, a British engineer proposed linking two rivers in India to better irrigate the area and cheaply move goods. The link never happened, but the idea survived.

Today, due to extreme flooding in some parts of the country mirrored by debilitating drought in others, India's National Water Development Agency plans to dig thirty links between rivers across the country. It's the largest project of its kind and will take decades to complete.

But scientists are worried what moving that much water could do to the land, the people — and even the weather. Host Emily Kwong talks to journalist Sushmita Pathak about her recent story on the project.

Read Sushmita's full story here .

Interested in more science stories like this? Email us at [email protected] .

Listen to Short Wave on Spotify and Apple Podcasts .

Listen to every episode of Short Wave sponsor-free and support our work at NPR by signing up for Short Wave+ at plus.npr.org/shortwave .

Today's episode was produced and fact-checked by Berly McCoy, and edited by Rebecca Ramirez. Kwesi Lee was the audio engineer.

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  28. How linking rivers could change the weather in India

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  29. Fly Me to the Moon (2024 film)

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