Jeff Nichols, director of such acclaimed hits as Mud, Take Shelter and this year’s Midnight Special, is currently in attendance at the ongoing Toronto Film Festival to promote Loving, the civil rights romance that places Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga front and center.
It’s set to open on November 4, but Nichols is already thinking further afield, with Deadline revealing today that the esteemed filmmaker is circling 20th Century Fox’s redo of Alien Nation. A remake of the 1988 sci-fi thriller that originally starred James Caan and Mandy Patinkin as a frankly unforgettable extra-terrestrial, the outlet notes that Nichols is being eyed to write and direct this modern overhaul, welcoming a reunion with Loving producers Brian Kavanaugh-Jones and Sara Greene. The real question now is, will Michael Shannon make his third collaboration with Jeff Nichols?
Conjecture aside, Deadline writes that Fox is reportedly keen to get this Alien Nation remake off the ground with haste. A cult hit when it first released almost three decades ago, Graham Baker’s cult sci-fi went on to inspire a TV spinoff in 1989, but in the original feature it was James Caan who took point as a racist cop forced to team with a member of an alien race (Patinkin). Soon after their alien mothership crash lands, it’s up to Caan to begrudgingly help his extra-terrestrial partner to assimilate into life in downtown Los Angeles.
Harboring the mismatched buddy cop dynamic – a time-honored Hollywood trope if ever there was one – and themes of science fiction, Jeff Nichols certainly makes for a fine candidate for Fox’s Alien Nation redo following his work on Midnight Special.