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SYFY WIRE George R.R. Martin

George R.R. Martin's next project is ... a sci-fi short directed by and starring Vincent D’Onofrio?

By Josh Weiss

George R.R. Martin, the man behind Game of Thrones, is bringing Martians to Texas in an upcoming science fiction short based on Howard Waldrop's 1993 short story, "Night of the Cooters." Writing on his official blog earlier this week, Martin revealed that the project has already wrapped principal photography in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The film was directed and produced by Wilson Fisk himself, Vincent D’Onofrio, who also stars in the main role of Sheriff Lindley. Joe Lansdale (Bubba Ho-Tep) penned the screenplay and serves as a producer alongside Waldrop, Justin Duval, Joe Dean, Taylor Church, Martin Sensmeier, L.C. Crowly, Greg Jonkajtys, Elias Gallegos, Lenore Gallegos, and Amy Filbeck.

"I’d guess it will come in somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes, shot with a combination of live action and state-of-the-art animation," Martin wrote. "If you loved the story, we think you will love our movie ... We shot everything on green screen, so the post production process is going to be a lengthy one. The ball has now been passed to our friends at Trioscope, who will supply the backgrounds and special effects. We are thinking the final cut won’t be ready until early next year."

Night of the Cooters front cover

Inspired by H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds, the sci-fi tale unfolds in Pachuco, Texas where invading aliens find their plan to take over the Earth rebuffed by determined citizens of the Lone Star State. "Cooters" was nominated for Hugo and Locus Awards, but did not win either. Martin actually praised the collection in which story first appeared, writing the following blurb that appeared on the front cover: "There's never been anyone like him [referring to Waldrop] in our out of science fiction."

In his blog post, Martin also touched on his uncertainty surrounding the film's eventual distribution.

"I doubt it will be showing at a multiplex near you. It’s a short film, as I said, and shorts just don’t get the distribution of full-length features," he explained. "They hardly get any distribution at all, sad to say. I expect we will enter 'Cotters' in some film festivals here and there. Maybe some streamer will pick it up. Maybe we can release it on DVD or Blu-ray. Maybe we can make a few more Waldrop movies and assemble them all into an anthology of sorts, like Creepshow or Twilight Zone. One thing I can promise: we will be having a premiere somewhere down the line at the Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe."