Jeff Nichols recently delivered a riveting sci-fi film—with more than a dash of chase flick—with Midnight Special, which he wrote and directed. In an interview with the A.V. Club, Nichols discussed the importance of making grounded science fiction, which might very well be the reason he’s been entrusted with the Alien Nation remake that was announced last year. According to Variety, Nichols will write and direct the movie, which will reportedly reveal the origins of the Earth’s newfound alien population that may or may not look like Mandy Patinkin in sunglasses and a bald cap.
Nichols, who is gearing up for the TIFF premiere of Loving, will reteam with that film’s producers for the upcoming remake. The original film (and the TV spin-off) centered on humanoid extraterrestrials who crash-landed in the Mojave desert and tried to integrate themselves into human society, with mixed results. That movie’s metaphors for race relations and other social issues were rather inelegant, but Nichols has proven himself quite adept at parables, so there’s good reason to believe his treatment will be more nuanced.