RIP Dan O’ Bannon

This saddens me. Legendary screenwriter Dan O’Bannon, who gave birth to ALIEN among other genre classics (DARK STAR; HEAVY METAL; BLUE THUNDER; RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD; TOTAL RECALL), has passed onto the cosmic realm (or possibly even the Phoenix Asteroids…). I’ll have more to say about O’Bannon later, but this upstart storyteller and raconteur was a possible genius and true visionary. We are in his gratitude.

Here’s his finest moment in John Carpenter’s 1974 debut, DARK STAR, a genuine sci-fi satire with a clever script, unique effects, a beach ball alien and O’ Bannon stealing the movie as Pinback:


11 Responses to “RIP Dan O’ Bannon”

  1. […] ever did. The guy worked a lot, and he worked on some real crap – Tobe Hooper’s… RIP Dan O' Bannon « Technicolor Dreams Legendary screenwriter Dan O’Bannon, who gave script birth to ALIEN among other genre […]

  2. This is a bummer. I’ve enjoyed many of the films he’s had a hand in and he really contributed so much to genre films. Ah, DARK STAR… dirty hippies in space.

    I thought it was a nice touch in Danny Boyle’s SUNSHINE how they named the bad guy after O’Bannon’s Pinback…

    • And O’ Bannon is absolutely hilarious in DARK STAR to boot. He makes me laugh through the whole thing, especially when he’s sent off to feed the “alien”: “Aw, I don’t wanna do that.”

      Dirty Hippies In Space would have been a great alternate title.

  3. *sobs*

    i loved everything this guy made, i LOVED his version of lovecraft charles dexter ward case, the resurrected, that he directed but didn’t wrote. yes : it was the nineties and it shows, the contemporary adaptation is somewhat dated but the film stands as one of the top lovecraft adaptations ever (if not the best).

  4. ad i m sorry if my post is lame and badly written but i m sad :/

  5. i’m sad too. rest in peace, dan o’, the world of movies was a better place with you in it

  6. Here’s Dan in action with the scene that would become the genesis for ALIEN. Except funnier.

  7. Gutted. Dark Star is too often overlooked these days, which is just wrong.

    I had no idea he wrote the screenplay for Total Recall, though. It makes sense now that I know.

    RIP. :(

    • The script was written for somebody much more human than Arnie. Richard Dreyfuss was going to play him if that gives you some idea. It made more sense, as you would see a wimp turn into a terminator.

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