With his “The Bikeriders” to hit cinemas this week, filmmaker Jeff Nichols has been out talking up the film where the inevitable question was asked – what’s next?

Back in 2021, “Take Shelter” and “Midnight Special” director Nichols was attached to “A Quiet Place: Day One” but left the project to work on “The Bikeriders” instead.

Despite the exit, he and Paramount were still planning to work together on an untitled sci-fi movie for the studio, but no details were available at the time. Nichols was also coming off four years of attempting what was purported to be a reboot of the James Caan-led 1988 sci-fi feature “Alien Nation” over at 20th Century Fox.

In 2023, he explained to Happy Sad Confused the two projects were one and the same – it was an original sci-fi film he created and had set up at Fox. He had a script and cast ready and the studio was the one who wanted to slap the “Alien Nation” title on it.

Then Disney acquired Fox and various projects in development at the latter were scrapped – this one collapsing before filming could begin. An attempt to retool it as a ten-episode Disney+ series was also a non-starter.

The film script, minus the “Alien Nation” title, subsequently ended up at Paramount which is where it currently resides. As it’s his original script and is only ‘inspired’ by “Alien Nation,” with a whole different story and characters, there shouldn’t be any rights issues.

Last year Nichols was also considering adapting Cormac McCarthy’s final works – the pair of novels “The Passenger” and “Stella Maris” set up at Regency with Michael Shannon said to have a key role.

This week, talking with Coming Soon (via World of Reel), Nichols says he really hopes the mysterious sci-fi film is next for him:

“I’d love for it [the sci-fi film] to be my next film. It says everything I want to say about humanity and the universe. It’s a big film. It’s got a big scope to it and a big heart to it. Believe it or not, it’s a film with aliens in it. But it takes place in Arkansas, and it feels like a movie made by the guy who made Mud, and it just happens to have aliens in it.”

He reportedly came close last Fall to getting things going again, but the strikes halted those plans.

The post Nichols Doing “Alien Nation”-Esque Sci-Fi Next? appeared first on Dark Horizons.

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