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V movie not dead yet, original creator Kenneth Johnson reveals at SDCC

By Jacob Oller
V 1983

Long before alien invasion stalwart V had plans for a movie, or even made its resurgence onto TV, it was a beloved 1983 mini-series where giant Independence Day-sized UFOs showed up over major cities, sparking the imagination of a nation and bringing science fiction once again to the forefront of pop culture. The mini-series led to many, many more iterations of the metaphor-rich tale of Visitors, but the original is undeniable.

Now, V: The Original Mini-Series has made its way to San Diego Comic-Con. SYFY WIRE attended today's panel, which featured creator Kenneth Johnson along with series star Marc Singer, representatives from the Warner Archive Podcast, and (probably) several lizard people. The panel was part of a celebration for V's admittance to the Warners Archive, which means that it'll be getting a new physical home release. However, Johnson also announced that the film version — which was in choppy waters when its production partner was revealed as fraudulent — isn't dead yet.

Adding producer Ted Field to the team, the film showed off some concept art-based VFX storyboards as proof that things are moving forward. Johnson also explained that Field was helping their team find a way forward for the film — and subsequent sequels that would, as Johnson says, bring Singer back into the franchise.

But much of the panel was still devoted to the original. Airing the original TV preview of the show alongside Johnson's discussion of the mini-series' origins, the panel drew parallels to modern-day countries like North Korea and Russia — and even America. They then showed off a remastered clip of the helicopter chase that leads to the epic appearance of a UFO — included in the iconic shot above — and one of the Star Wars-scored meetings of humankind and the Visitors. Johnson said the studio orchestra tried to play the Star Wars theme like the high school marching band, but couldn't get it done badly enough. They ended up going with an actual high school band for the scene. 

With many, many more segments of the mini-series screened — including some exclusive footage of behind-the-scenes bloopers regarding guinea pig eating or Visitor tongue-lashing — fans got a good taste (pun intended) of what the remaster had to offer. The crisp quality of these scenes comes in a new aspect ratio (1:85), which is how the original was filmed, according to Johnson. The mini-series will be released on a remastered Blu-ray collection later this year.

Click here for SYFY WIRE's full coverage of SDCC 2019, including up-to-the-minute news, exclusive interviews, and videos.