Jeff Nichols Talks “Alien Nation” Remake

Filmmaker Jeff Nichols is having a bumper year with two films, “Midnight Special” and “Loving,” both likely to feature high on many best of year lists.

One of his upcoming projects is a remake of the 1988 science fiction drama “Alien Nation,” the successful if somewhat unsubtle immigration metaphor tale of alien refugees arriving on Earth and assimilating into society – all mixed into a cop drama.

James Caan starred in the original as a racist detective forced to team up with an alien (Mandy Patinkin) to solve a murder – one that ties back to a narcotic from the alien’s homeworld. Much of the film, and the subsequent TV series spin-off, dealt with how these beings integrated into society.

Nichols has previously said the film isn’t a traditional remake, rather he has a big idea for a film and is incorporating that into the world of Alien Nation. Today EW reveals that Nichols is currently shaping his screenplay and that ‘big idea’ may tie in to the results of the recent U.S. election as today’s political climate will come into play. Nichols talked about his progress:

“Yeah, and I’m still grappling with that. There was a wall in the script before [the election]. I think films at their best are reflections of the society that produces them.

I know for a fact that an audience, when they’re walking to the theater, they bring their issues with them. And [I’ve] always been fascinated by that since my first film. Especially with my first film, I was just in a bubble making something and then I saw the outside world come in and start to put all this stuff on it.

With this next film, I’m still, like everybody, trying to figure out what all this means for us. But whether I want it to or not, it’s going to be a reflection of the world. And I want it to.”

“Alien Nation” is currently in the early stages of development, with an intended 2018 release date.