Nothing to do with magic, but screenwriter Dan O'Bannon has Died

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Richard Kaufman
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Nothing to do with magic, but screenwriter Dan O'Bannon has Died

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 19th, 2009, 3:55 pm

You've got to be a pretty good movie geek to know who Dan O'Bannon was, and he died the other day from Crohn's Disease. Just saw it on Aintitcoolnews.com.

Let's see if you magic geeks have any movie geekdom in you as well.
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Mark Paulson
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Re: Nothing to do with magic, but screenwriter Dan O'Bannon has Died

Postby Mark Paulson » December 19th, 2009, 4:06 pm

Sad news. He worked on Blue Thunder, Alien, and Total Recall.
RIP.

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John M. Dale
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Re: Nothing to do with magic, but screenwriter Dan O'Bannon has Died

Postby John M. Dale » December 19th, 2009, 8:19 pm

Well, Dang!! "The Return of the Living Dead" is in my list of Top 10 films of all time & "Soft Landing" is my second favorite part of "Heavy Metal." Dan was one in a billion.

JMD

David Alexander
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Re: Nothing to do with magic, but screenwriter Dan O'Bannon has Died

Postby David Alexander » December 20th, 2009, 1:40 am

When I was a guest at the Saturn Awards some years back I visited with A.E. and Lydia Van Vogt. Van was one of the greatest SF writers of all time.

Lydia was excited because they'd just received another check for $50,000 as yet another Alien film had been released. Van tried to shush her but she went on explaining how their lawyer had sent a letter to the producers of the first Alien film saying how the story closely copied one of Van's published stories(Voyage of the Space Beagle published around 1950 that included parts of an earlier story - Black Destroyer - published in 1939) with only minor variations. A check for $50,000 arrived shortly thereafter and every time an Alien sequal was released another check showed up.

O'Bannon was also a skilled artist with a pencil as readers of an early "underground" newspaper called "The Finger" learned in the 1970s. I doubt he would want those images to be seen today.

Terrence
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Re: Nothing to do with magic, but screenwriter Dan O'Bannon has Died

Postby Terrence » December 20th, 2009, 12:31 pm

There was a beachball opposite my left turn lane on Friday, and of course I thought of "Dark Star".

He will be missed. :(

Tom Frame
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Re: Nothing to do with magic, but screenwriter Dan O'Bannon has Died

Postby Tom Frame » December 20th, 2009, 1:17 pm

I'm sorry to hear of his passing. Alien is one of my favorite horror films and I have fond memories (really!) of ingesting a psychedelicatessan of substances and rocking and reeling to Heavy Metal.

Some may not know that he did computer animation, miniature and optical effects on Star Wars.
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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Nothing to do with magic, but screenwriter Dan O'Bannon has Died

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 20th, 2009, 5:04 pm

The basic story from Alien was derived from It! The Terror from Beyond Space which was released in 1958. The parallels to Alien are startling, to say the least.

David: have you read the Van Vogt story and compared it to the 1958 film?
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David Alexander
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Re: Nothing to do with magic, but screenwriter Dan O'Bannon has Died

Postby David Alexander » December 21st, 2009, 12:28 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:The basic story from Alien was derived from It! The Terror from Beyond Space which was released in 1958. The parallels to Alien are startling, to say the least.

David: have you read the Van Vogt story and compared it to the 1958 film?


Yes, it was a knock off, too, more or less, low budget SF junk from the 1950s. The two distinguishing things about that film were the monster played by Crash Corrigan who ran the movie ranch "Corriganville" and the film's writer Jerome Bixby who would write several Star Trek episodes including "Mirror, Mirror."

Van Vogt's two stories were published in 1939 and 1950 and well preceded "IT." As it was low budget I don't think there was enough money to go after to make it worth Van's time, if he even knew about it.

This sort of thing happens and sometimes producers can do something about it to avoid trouble.

A research company used by Paramount informed Gene Roddenberry that one of the episodes he was about to shoot had many strong "resemblances" to a Robert Heinlein story. It had been written by a then-young writer, his first or a very early sale. Things were in gear and Gene didn't want to lose all the pre-production money or put a hole in the production schedule.

Gene contacted Heinlein and explained the situation and Heinlein, amazed that anyone would call and ask permission instead of just stealing the story like others had done to other works of his, gave his consent without any payment.

He would later write on the script that was sent to him, "I condoned the literary piracy. R.A.H." His widow gave permission for me to access info from his then-sealed archives some years back.

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Re: Nothing to do with magic, but screenwriter Dan O'Bannon has Died

Postby Ian Kendall » December 21st, 2009, 4:25 am

When I was in school in 1979 the boy in the next bed was called Andrew Tar. His father was very high up in Fox at the time, and heavily involved in the making of Alien. Andrew had a large poster (unpublished) of the Nostromo above his bed, and one time when I visited his house I noticed that on his wall was the blue print of the vent shafts that Dallas used to plan is trap attempt on the alien.

Alien was and still is one of my favourite films (not too fussed about the sequels). A couple of weeks ago my local supermarket had the Quadrilogy box set for 12 pounds!

/movie geek.

Ian


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