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'Night of the Cooters': Cowboys & aliens finally reunite in George R.R. Martin's sci-fi B-movie short

Based on the short story by Howard Waldrop, "Night of the Cooters" was directed by Vincent D’Onofrio.

By Josh Weiss

While we wait for George R.R. Martin to finally publish The Winds of Winter, the acclaimed fantasy author has a different treat for us: a teaser trailer for Night of the Cooters. Stop laughing, that's the actual title of this sci-fi B movie short, produced by Martin and based on the 1993 story of the same name by Howard Waldrop. 

And guess who directed it? Go on, guess... None other than Kingpin himself, Vincent D’Onofrio, who also stars in this 19th century mashup tale of a frontier town trying to stave off an alien invasion in their small Texas town. Perhaps it'll reinvigorate this hybrid concept previously explored to critical and financial disappointment of Jon Favreau's Cowboys & Aliens

Adapted for the screen by Joe Lansdale (Bubba Ho-Tep), the project sports a unique aesthetic that recalls the rotoscoping technique used on Richard Linklater's 2006 film, A Scanner Darkly. This style comes courtesy of Trioscope, a company known for its "fused live action/animation" that results in "a unique moving graphic novel experience," per the official release.

"The post production on the film is where the true look of it starts to unfold — how Trioscope crafts the photography frame by frame with the colorization and detail of each shot," D’Onofrio said in a statement. "We are watching our film come to life."

Watch the trailer now:

Martin — who serves as a producer alongside D’Onofrio, Waldrop, Justin Duval, Joe Dean, Taylor Church, Martin Sensmeier, L.C. Crowly, Greg Jonkajtys, Elias Gallegos, Lenore Gallegos, and Amy Filbeck — posted the teaser on his blog Friday, revealing that the entire movie was shot against a green-screen in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

"After that, we turned it over to the wizards at Trioscope, who have been busily working on it ever since with their groundbreaking animation process," Martin explained. "They’re still working. It’s our hope to have a finished film by February, maybe March."

“Here at Trioscope, we’ve created a hybrid of animation and live-action drama that amplifies the best of both genres," added Crowley, the CEO of Trioscope, in a statement of its own. "Especially important within the structure of a short film, our unique approach immediately transports and immerses the viewer into a dramatic new world — one that gives nuance to the actors’ performances and their characters. We’re honored to partner with visionaries George R.R. Martin and Vincent D’Onofrio to bring their wild imaginings to vivid life."

Night of the Cooters has no release date yet.