by: Madison Barnes
Recent reports indicate that Fox is remaking the film version of ALIEN NATION, much to the delight of many sci-fi fans. Though there have been TV series, TV movies, and recent remake attempts, this appears to be a solid reboot from the ground-up, starting with a concept similar to the original film. Mark Roybal and Ryan Jones are executive producing for the project, and they are currently meeting with writers to get a script underway.
“Alien Nation” first hit theaters in 1988, and featured the ensemble cast of James Caan, Mandy Patinkin, and Terrence Stamp. The story revolved around a human detective who paired up with an alien to solve a homicide against the backdrop of the alien race trying to assimilate to Earth’s culture. It succeeded in melding the the “buddy cop” and science fictions genres together, much like “Men in Black” did more recently (though both detectives were human in Men in Black), and was popular enough to create a spin-off TV show soon after its release. Though it didn’t stay on air too long, there were many more made-for-TV movies released in the mid to late ’90s based on the elements of the original film.
Fox didn’t want to stop there, however, and they teamed up with the SyFy channel in 2009 for a complete reboot of the TV series. Though fans were enthusiastic about a modern resurgence of the classic story, the project never got off the ground, filming only a pilot and being cancelled before much of the season could get on the air.
Something about the concept remains so endearing that Fox is not willing to put the story to rest. I actually agree with their decision to continue pushing development on this story, because a modern day “Alien Nation” would not only look cool with our new graphics technology, but it would also teach inherent lessons about accepting different cultures (as the original film also tried to do).
Stay glued to the Tracking Board for more developments on the project, and to see what direction producers take with the classic story!