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SYFY WIRE Hellraiser

WIRE Buzz: Alien Nation reboot shelved; Hellraiser strikes new accord; more

By Brian Silliman
Michael Shannon (Credit: Bruce Glikas/WireImage)

Another gestating project from Fox has been sent off to the Phantom Zone. The proposed revival of the 1988 sci-fi classic Alien Nation will not be seeing the light of day anytime soon.

Variety reports that Disney has shelved the project, originally announced in 2016 with Jeff Nichols serving as both writer and director. The new project would have been a film, and The Hollywood Reporter newsletter Heat Vision claims that there was talk of Michael Shannon (Man of Steel, The Shape of Water) playing the role of the alien detective.

That role was originally played by Mandy Patinkin, partner to a human cop played by James Caan. Their all-cop shenanigans revolved around 300,000 members of an alien race called the "newcomers" who had landed in the Mojave Desert.

This is not the first developing Fox project that the Mouse House has axed since their merger— the motion-captured film Mouse Guard, set to star Idris Elba and Andy Serkis, got blown away by Mickey this past April. There's room for only one mouse under Disney's rule of Fox, and apparently there's no room whatsoever for aliens.

Worry not for mice or aliens, because the good news is that Hellraiser is trying to come to television!

Deadline reports that producers Roy Lee (It) and Dan Farah (Ready Player One) have reached a compact with those who share the rights to Hellraiser and the iconic character of Pinhead. Lawrence Kuppin, David Salzmanand, and Eric Gardner have long held the television rights, but Lee and Farah are now joining forces with them in a bid to bring this entire mythology to TV.

According to Deadline, their intention is to use material established in the movie franchise, as well as the Clive Barker novella The Hellbound Heart. All of this would serve as what they call a "launch pad" that could potentially be an anthology series or a traditional narrative. A home base for the project has not been decided, and a writer/showrunner is currently being sought.

When all of the pieces are put in place, get ready for them to open a portal to hell.

Who's ready for another attempt at an interconnected cinematic universe? Come on, who isn't? The latest attempt at doing what the MCU does so well will involve dark fairy tales, so our interest is piqued.

Deadline reports that Circle of Confusion, the production company behind both The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead, has attained the rights to A Wicked Tale, a new script by Dan Kay. It's described as "a contemporary horror take on the classic Brothers Grimm tale, Hansel & Gretel." The company is planning to use the script as a springboard for a whole interconnected universe based on classic fairytale characters, all of whom are in the public domain.

Zack Andrews and Bobby Roe are currently rewriting Kay's original script, with Roe also tapped as director. Hopefully this new venture will have a longer screen life than some other recent attempts at shared cinematic universes.