Nichols discussed his “Alien Nation” plans during a recent interview on the Team Deakins podcast, where he stated he was working on adapting the 1991 sci-fi film into a 10-episode television show. Nichols noted that he was approached by Fox to remake the film but said Disney killed the project in 2019 after the company acquired the competing studio.
“I then had this idea of how I could take that title, but a situation that has nothing to do with the original movie, necessarily, and I got really excited about it…I spent three years building out an entire alien civilization, and this situation, and this setup, and all these characters and it’s really what I’ve been doing for a long time,” Nichols said, per SlashFilm. “We were set to go make it. It was going to be our next big challenge for Adam and I, which would be making a big, $100 million studio film, still in Arkansas. Disney bought Fox and killed it, which was a little soul-crushing, to say the least.”
Nichols added that Disney came back to him after killing his idea for a film remake and expressed an interest in having the director work on an “Alien Nation” series instead.
“So I have taken it and broken it into ten episodes, and it’s under consideration right now,” Nichols said. “Who knows, people in far more powerful positions than me are deciding that. One of the tricks is, I want to shoot it like a giant film, and I’m not sure if we’ll be able to get away with that.”
The original “Alien Nation” sci-fi film took place in Los Angeles in 1991 after several hundred thousand aliens land on Earth and attempt to assimilate into society. The film follows the relationship between a human cop and a rookie alien detective who must work together to solve a homicide case. The film became a cult hit and spawned several television movie sequels and a single television season.
If Nichols is able to complete an “Alien Nation” series it would mark the first television credit for the filmmaker. Nichols previously directed and wrote well-received films such as “Loving” and “Midnight Special,” which both premiered in 2016.
SlashFilm was first to report the Nichols news.