In the wake of glowing critic reviews of his latest film, Loving (released in theaters November 4th), which explores love and racism in West Virginia, before the legalization of interracial marriage, Jeff Nichols may be bringing the political and racial themes from drama to comedy and science fiction. According to Deadline, he’s come onboard the Alien Nation remake as the writer and director.
The Plot of the Original Alien Nation
The 1988 neo-noir action-filled sci-fi thriller tells the story of an unlikely crime fighting duo forced together by the landing of 300,000 alien slaves, called “Newcomers,” in the desert outside of Los Angeles. Tensions rise as the Newcomers attempt to integrate into an unwelcoming society, sparking a wave of alien and hate crimes. The main character, veteran police detective Sykes, lost his partner in a shootout with Newcomers, and has been holding onto bitter resentment and simmering racism towards the aliens since. Shortly after, his superior informs him that he will be working alongside new detective, Sam Francisco (I see what you did there, alien…), who is, you guessed it, a Newcomer.
Forced to put their differences aside and work together to unbury clues and solve a homicide by an underground criminal organization, Sykes also ropes his new partner into helping him unofficially catch the Newcomers behind his partner’s murder.
Scripting For The Alien Nation Remake
The proposed remake of Alien Nation was previously set to be scripted by Iron Man writers Matt Holloway and Art Marcum, but according to Deadline, “Nichols will write the new version of the film and direct it for Fox.” However, it doesn’t specify if he’ll be writing the script from scratch, or revising a possible draft from Holloway and Marcum.
Nichols’ earlier films gained him modest acclaim from critics and fans, such as Take Shelter, Mud and his latest sci-fi film, Midnight Special. Midnight Special won the Best Narrative Feature at the Sarasota Film Festival, and tells the story of a man and his son on the run from both the government and a cult, both looking to uses his sons mysterious powers for their own devious plans. Mud was exponentially more decorated, earning 11 different awards, including the Top Ten Independent Films from the National Board of Review. Those films, along with others in Nichols collection, are highly charged, and feature strong and familiar themes presented in surprising ways.
I’m excited to see what Nichols does with the 80’s film that combined a ton of very different genres in a very original way. As we learn more about casting and release dates for the Alien Nation remake, you’ll be the first to know! (ED: Well, maybe not the first, ‘cuz, well, we’ll know before they do…) So buckle up, Addicts, ‘cause it can only get more interesting from here.
Featured Image: Fox