It was announced four years ago that Fox was developing a remake of the 1988 film Alien Nation, and Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter, Mud, Midnight Special) came on board to direct two years after that, but we haven’t heard a peep about the project since then. Speaking with Slash Film this week, Nichols updated with news that he’s almost done with the script.
“So I’ve been working on Alien Nation like for two years, the screenplay. And I’m still … I’m almost done with it,” Nichols told the site. “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, 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.”
He continued, “It’s 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 fuck?” 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. I put so much of myself into it. It takes place in Arkansas. There’s so much of me in it.”
As Nichols points out, it’s possible that Disney acquiring Fox could spell the end of his Alien Nation remake, but it’s good to hear that, at least for now, it’s moving along smoothly.
In the original film, directed by Graham Baker, “Aliens, known as Newcomers, slowly begin to be integrated into human society after three years of quarantine.”