20th Century Fox’s remake of the 1988 science-fiction film ALIEN NATION has landed a director.
Jeff Nichols, who helmed MIDNIGHT SPECIAL and the upcoming civil rights drama LOVING, will write and direct the remake, with Brian Kavanaugh-Jones (SINISTER, INSIDIOUS) and Sara Greene (THE TREE OF LIFE) serving as producers.
The original ALIEN NATION film placed a sci-fi spin on the buddy-cop formula. It centered on a racist law enforcement officer, Detective Sgt. Matthew Sykes (James Caan), who teams up with an alien, Detective Samuel ‘George’ Francisco (Mandy Patinkin), who was part of a starship which crashed in the Mojave Desert with 300,000 slaves aboard. Dubbed “Newcomers,” the survivors are settled in Los Angeles, and Sykes and Francisco are forced to work together to investigate a growing alien underworld. Graham Baker (THE FINAL CONFLICT) directed the film from a script by Rockne S. O’Bannon (“Farscape”).
In 1989, the film was adapted for television with actors Gary Graham and Eric Pierpoint taking the leads. The Fox series ran for 22 episodes.
Like “Star Trek” often did with its stories, ALIEN NATION also served as a vehicle to explore social issues, particularly racism. The film’s premise certainly remains positioned to provide a smart and relevant commentary on race relations should Nichols chose to retain that focus rather than taking a more action-oriented approach. His next film, LOVING, which centers on an interracial marriage case that went before the Supreme Court, suggests ALIEN NATION will be a substantive remake, however.
LOVING premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May and hits theaters Nov. 4. Nichols’ other directing credits include MUD, TAKE SHELTER and SHOTGUN STORIES.
‘Alien Nation’ Remake