It looks like the Disney/Fox merger might have taken down another project in development. In the latest newsletter from TheHollywoodReporter, they reveal that the Alien Nation remake from writer/director Jeff Nicholas is said to be “paused” for the time being.

The remake was in active development with Jeff Nichols, the filmmaker behind such thoughtful fare as Mud, Loving and Midnight Special, writing and directing the project set in a near future where refugees from another planet are relegated to second-class status and a racist L.A. cop has to team up with the force’s first alien detective for a case.

There was even talk of Michael Shannon starring as the alien detective.

But with the recent acquisition of Fox by Disney, Nation is the latest project that is seeing its development cut short. The project is not being put into turnaround (Fox owns the rights as it made not only the 1988 original but a TV series and the TV movies that followed), just “paused,” according to insiders. The project, with its timely themes mixed with ever-popular cop and sci-fi tropes, will very likely be revisited down the road in some capacity.

Mouse Guard was one of the recent projects that got canned and led to director Wes Ball posting a demo reel on YouTube of animation test footage.

Interesting factoid, James Cameron wrote an unused version of the script for the original film.

Hopefully, 20th Century Fox ends up making Alien Nation as it was one of the cooler science fiction films from the late ’80s. It also spawned a television series, which might mean that they might see it better suited for Hulu or FX.


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