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Jeff Nichols' Alien Nation remake will be epic, if it happens

Alien Nation James Caan Mandy Patinkin

It's been four and a half years since 20th Century Fox first announced that they intended to produce a remake of the 1988 sci-fi action film ALIEN NATION, and two years since MIDNIGHT SPECIAL's Jeff Nichols was hired to write and direct the remake... And that was the last time we heard anything about it.

Speaking with /Film last week, Nichols finally gave an update on the status of his take on ALIEN NATION.

So I’ve been working on Alien Nation like for two years, the screenplay. And I’m still … I’m almost done with it. I’m hoping this draft that I’m working on now will be my last. The studio seems to really love it, and we’re working on conception design of the aliens and everything else ...

That makes it sound like the project could be moving into production very soon, but the fact that Fox was recently purchased by Disney casts some doubt on its future. If ALIEN NATION doesn't start filming before Disney takes full control, it might not happen at all.

... and it happens to be a studio that’s being bought by Disney right now. I’m working with Fox on it, so it feels a little bit like you’re one of those monks doing those giant murals in sand. It might just blow away, which would be a real shame, but everybody at Fox has been so good to me about it. And they’re so positive about it, obviously I’m trying to stay in the positive zone, and hopefully knock out this last draft."

If you're not familiar with the original ALIEN NATION, its story was set in 

Los Angeles, the new home of 300,000 humanoid extraterrestrial. When a gang of these Newcomers kills a police detective's (James Caan) partner, he sets out to solve the crime with his new partner (Mandy Patinkin) - the L.A.P.D.'s first Newcomer detective. But the unlikely pair soon uncover a far more dangerous threat to society. 

Nichols says that his take on the concept is 

epic. I mean, it’s the biggest canvas I’ve ever painted on, but it 100 percent feels like a Jeff Nichols film, which I’m sure there are gonna be some ALIEN NATION fans out there that are like, “What the f*ck?” But my hope is if they … If people come to it just ready for a new story, that they’ll like it. And I put my heart and soul into it. To be the project that’s supposed to be me being a sell out, it is like the least … I’m not saying that to save face or be cool. I put so much of myself into it, it takes place in (Nichols' home state) Arkansas. There’s so much of me in it."

It definitely sounds like Nichols found a way to turn this remake into a personal passion project, so for his sake I hope he hasn't put two years of work into something that will just blow away in the wind.
 

Source: Slash Film

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