From Shotgun Stories to Take Shelter to Mud, Jeff Nichols’ has made his name as an indie filmmaker who tells the types of stories he wants instead of yielding to mainstream expectations. Just look at Midnight Special, a sci-fi thriller that refuses to give audiences overt explanations, or his latest biopic Loving, which is more of a love story than a didactic political drama. Considering the originality of Nichols’ work, it might have been surprising to some that the director’s next project will be a remake of 1988 sci-fi movie Alien Nation. But even that film won’t be what you’d expect.
It was last March (as in, 2015) that we first learned about Fox’s plans to remake Alien Nation, when Iron Man scribes Art Marcum and Matt Holloway signed on to write the screenplay for the new film based on the bizarre 1988 sci-fi buddy cop comedy. With his latest film (and second of 2016) debuting at TIFF, director Jeff Nichols is coming aboard the Alien Nation remake, for which he’ll also deliver a new screenplay.
You might not remember Alien Nation, the 1988 sci-fi buddy cop film which paired a human police officer with an alien partner in a not-too-distant future. The film, originally produced by The Walking Dead and Terminator producer Gale Anne Hurd, isn’t a film that immediately shouts “remake” — it’s not based on a comic book, existing franchise, superhero, toy, YA novel or a film that makes thirtysomethings feel nostalgic. But if you’re determined to remake a movie, this is the kind of movie that feels okay to remake.