Friday, December 18, 2009

Dan O'Bannon, Alien screenwriter, dead at 63

Sci Fi Wire reports: "Dan O'Bannon, the veteran screenwriter, director, special-effects technician and occasional actor whose works contributed to several major sci-fi/horror franchises, has died at 63.

O'Bannon was of course best known for scripting Alien, the classic gothic sci-fi thriller that went on to spawn video games, comics, licensed novels and multiple sequels, ultimately including crossovers with that other murderous alien species, the Predator."

Dan's Accomplishments include:
  • visual-effects technician on George Lucas's Star Wars (1977) 
  • creation of the Aliens
  • wrote screenplays for John Badham's Blue Thunder (1983), an action movie that set Roy Scheider against Malcolm McDowell in helicopter battle above the streets of L.A., 
  • wrote Tobe Hooper's Lifeforce (1985), a notorious bomb, of which he said, "Tobe Hooper at the helm ... is approximately like having Bozo the Clown at the helm."
  • wrote and directed Return of the Living Dead (1985).
  • screenplay for Total Recall (1990), an extremely loose adaptation of Philip K. Dick's "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale" that sent Arnold Schwarzenegger to Mars, where the future Governator fought mutants, Ronny Cox and his own deceptive memories.
  • other screenplays include the horror movie Dead and Buried (1981), sections of the animated Heavy Metal (1981), the remake of Invaders From Mars (1986) and Screamers (1997).
None of his works have been produced since the time Screamers was produced, but his legacy still lives on with the Aliens world.

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