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Alien 40th Anniversary Documentary In The Works

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Alien will receive a documentary titled Memory – The Origins Of Alien in 2019 to celebrate its 40th anniversary. The original Alien was born out of screenwriter Dan O’Bannon’s work on Dark Star, which was director John Carpenter’s (Halloween) first movie. Dark Star is a black comedy about a bunch of bored astronauts and one sequence features a character – played by O’Bannon - chasing after an alien shaped like a beach ball. O’Bannon wondered what the story would be like if it was a horror movie instead, and set to work on writing a script he dubbed Memory.

Memory later became Star Beast, and then finally Alien – based on how much the word appeared in the screenplay – and for a time legendary B-movie producer Roger Corman was set to make it on the cheap. Luckily for O’Bannon Star Wars had just come out and proved to be a gigantic success, and the studio was on the hunt for any scripts set in space. Alien’s centerpiece chest-bursting sequence was enough to convince producers of its potential, and Ridley Scott was hired to direct. The resulting film became a landmark in the sci-fi genre, introducing audiences to an iconic monster and Sigourney Weaver’s equally iconic Ripley.

Related: Fox Launches Alien Short Film Contest Ahead Of 40th Anniversary

Alien will turn 40 in 2019, and Fox is planning a number of events to celebrate this milestone, include a short film competition. Now Screen Daily reports a new documentary dubbed Memory – The Origins Of Alien is in the works from Alexandre O. Philippe, who helmed the acclaimed doc 78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene. Memory will explore unseen material from O’Bannon and Alien designer H.R. Giger, and dive into previously unrevealed areas of the project.

Between making of documentaries and books, fans may feel there’s little about the original Alien left to explore. That said, O’Bannon’s contribution to the original movie tends to be somewhat sidelined by others - especially after he fell out with producers when his script was heavily rewritten. A documentary diving into his archive – including the very first draft of Memory – should yield some fascinating new insights.

The Alien franchise itself appears to be in limbo right now. Reactions to 2017’s Alien: Covenant were decidedly mixed, and the film’s disappointing box office performance means a direct sequel is unlikely. With Fox recently selling its movie properties to Disney – who famously tend to focus on more family-friendly projects – it might be a while before the Xenomorph reappears on the big screen. There has also been talk of a potential Alien TV series in development, but for now that project is under wraps.

More: William Gibson’s Unused Alien III Script Being Turned Into A Comic Series

Source: Screen Daily

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