J.J. Abrams is to produce a mystery sci-fi film.

The 'Star Wars: Episode VII' director will work under his Bad Robot banner with Sony Pictures on the upcoming film to be helmed by 'Eye of The Storm' filmmaker Chris Alender, Deadline reports.

The movie will reportedly have similar traits to 'Cloverfield' as it will feature aliens and be made on a contained budget.

Abrams is said to be keen to launch Alender's career in the same way that 'Cloverfield' gave director Matt Reeves - who has gone on to make 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' - a kick-start.

Although the movie will be the first feature-length film Alender directs, he is already seen as an accomplished filmmaker, having set up Soapbox Films - a respected studio that mostly generates promotional material.

Sony is currently finalising a deal as both Lionsgate and STX also bid for the film, but production president Michael De Luca is said to have made the best offer.

The purchase of the rights to the project is the third significant acquisition De Luca has been involved in since Sony were targeted by computer hackers.

Earlier this week, Sony acquired the rights to Jon Spaihts' sci-fi script 'Passengers' shortly after purchasing New York Police Department (NYPD) corruption documentary 'The Seven Five'.