jeff nichols alien nation

Jeff Nichols, the filmmaker behind movies like Take Shelter, Mud, and Midnight Special, is one of the best directors who isn’t quite a household name yet. But his next planned project, a big budget remake of the 1988 sci-fi buddy cop film Alien Nation, seemed poised to launch his career to the next level. Unfortunately, that movie ended up becoming a casualty of Disney’s acquisition of Fox, which was a big disappointment – but the project has since mutated into a different form.

According to Nichols, he has converted his movie screenplay into a series of scripts for a 10-episode television show, and Disney is currently deciding if they’re going to move ahead with this version of the story instead of the movie. Read his quotes below.
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alien nation remake

Earlier this week, director Wes Ball’s long-brewing Mouse Guard movie was officially pronounced dead thanks to the Disney/Fox acquisition, leading Ball and others involved with the project to give us a glimpse into the work they’d done developing the movie. Now Mouse Guard has unfortunately found a new companion in cancellation in the form of Fox’s Alien Nation remake, which was to be directed by Jeff Nichols (Midnight Special, Mud, Take Shelter). Nichols had spent three years working on the script, and now that work seems to have been for naught.
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Jeff Nichols interview

Jeff Nichols movie hasn’t played in theaters in for two years now. We recently saw another project from the director of Take Shelter and Mud, a short film based on a Lucero song, but not since Loving has he shot another feature. However, based on all the projects he’s working on and the ideas he’s toying with, including an Alien Nation remake and an animated kids movie, we might not have to wait much longer for another Nichols feature. And when we do see his sixth movie, it’ll be a reflection of the times –Nichols is sure of that.

The filmmaker recently spoke with us for an extended interview about his short film The Long Way Back Home, and following up part one and part two of our conversation with him, we now dive into what’s next for Nichols, what he’s been binge-watching, and why he doesn’t believe we’re living in the golden age of television.

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In the hands of director Jeff Nichols, the Alien Nation remake is not going to be just another buddy cop movie. When the news broke that Nichols was going to remake Graham Baker‘s entertaining sci-fi crime movie, it was hard imagining Nichols cranking out a routinely faithful remake. While the 20th Century Fox project could be his biggest project yet if it’s given the green light, the filmmaker says the story is just as personal as his previous films.

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We’re big fans of director Jeff Nichols around these parts. I loved his science fiction drama Midnight Special when I saw it at SXSW earlier this year and it’s still my favorite movie of 2016 so far. His other 2016 release, the drama Loving, was ranked number two on our list of most anticipated Fall movies and our own Angie Han has written a rave review from TIFF. And then there’s the fact that his filmography also includes gems like Take Shelter, Mud, and Shotgun Stories. Nichols is one our most humane filmmakers and he’s brought his gentle touch with him even as his budgets have steadily grown bigger.

And that makes the prospect of him signing on to remake the science fiction buddy cop movie Alien Nation one of the most intriguing and promising pieces of movie news to arrive this year.

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‘Alien Nation’ Remake in the Works at Fox

Alien Nation

Add Alien Nation to the long, long list of ’80s properties slated for a modern makeover. 20th Century Fox is developing a remake of the 1988 sci-fi film, with a new script by Iron Man writers Art Marcum and Matt Holloway. More details on the Alien Nation remake after the jump.  Read More »

Sci Fi Channel Wants To Ressurrect Alien Nation


On the eve of its rebranding from The Sci Fi Channel to SyFy (seriously guys, WTF?) the home of Battlestar Galactica has announced plans to revive another venerable TV show featuring the conflict and cooperation between humans and other beings: Alien Nation. Variety says Tim Minear (Angel/Firefly) is scripting, hewing close to concepts behind the original 1988 feature that spawned a season’s worth of episodic TV on Fox and five additional TV movie sequels. The film told of a human cop and his alien partner who is part of a race (the ‘Newcomers’) carried in a slave ship that crashed on Earth and is attempting to fit into human society. Read More »