Immediately following a Devil’s Due panel in which he discussed the Hack/Slash adaptation that’s coming to the big screen, I had the opportunity to speak briefly with Justin Marks, the writer behind Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li and the recently well-reviewed and much anticipated Grayskull: Masters of the Universe script.

During the panel, I asked him what he’s working on next, and he said that he’s trying to do a Children of Men-style sci-fi film. When I pressed him for more details about the script, he responded:

It deals with man’s exploration of the universe. I grew up on 2001, Alien, Aliens, Alien 3 even, are movies that I kind of love, but they have kind of steered science fiction towards horror. I want to bring the genre of space travel back to contemporary science fiction. The movie starts with a murder in zero gravity and goes from there.

First of all, to me, this sounds really promising, and hopefully will represent a fresh take on the sci-fi genre from a younger generation writer. But secondly, I thought this was an interesting observation, as in my experience, a lot of sci-fi has indeed stumbled into the horror category. Even Alex Garland’s mostly-excellent film, Sunshine, had substantial horror elements well before the third act, which drove home the horror situation clumsily, yet unequivocally.

What do you guys think? Has sci-fi been heading too much for horror territory? Do we need a return to sci-fi purity in the movie industry? What are some examples that demonstrate your viewpoint?

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