‘Monsters Vs. Aliens’. ‘Cowboys and Aliens’. ‘Alien Vs. Predator’. ‘Freddy Vs. Jason’. We’ve seen some pretty epic matchups on the big screen over the years. Whether or not they’ve been good is a whole different story, but the fact of the matter is that we’ve seen them. And now from the legendary Grant Morrison and ‘Men In Black’ director Barry Sonnenfeld, we will be getting ‘Dinosaurs Vs. Aliens’, which will go to show that apparently aliens will fight with everybody.
It’s been almost a year since we’ve last heard about this film and comic book project from acclaimed comic creator Morrison, so Comic Book Resources caught up with the man himself to get the lowdown on where this project is right now.
The interview started with CBR asking Morrison how the ball got rolling on ‘Dinosaurs Vs. Aliens’. He said:
“With a working title like that, it had the potential to be the dumbest monster movie ever made, or the biggest sci-fi action blockbuster of all time. This being Barry Sonnenfeld, I suspected he’d have a unique approach, so when Sharad suggested me as writer on the comic book project and offered to introduce us, I was keen to see what Barry had in mind. As I suspected, he had somewhat higher aspirations for this one and saw the story as a big allegorical take on Manifest Destiny and imperial expansionist politics. I was instantly hooked, we got on well, and I was brought on board to write the screenplay too. It wasn’t long before the characters came to life, and the story started to grow in all kinds of unexpected directions, to the point where we now have a potential trilogy worked out!”
When asked what sort of characters we should be expecting in the film, Morrison gave quite an interesting reply, likening the film to the Academy Award winning movie ‘The Artist’.
“There are no talking dinosaurs in this one, but one of the first ideas I brought to the project was, “what if natural selection, over millions of years, meant that saurians were smarter than we usually give them credit for?” In some ways, it’s the next level from the animal stuff in “We3” and relies even more on grunts, body language, camouflage, display, gestures and movement, where the dinosaurs are acting as if for a silent film. In fact, imagine “The Artist,” but with bloody, razor-sharp fangs! It’s amazing how much depth of character you can convey in non-human creatures without using speech. In fact, I think it makes the dinosaur characters more primal and archetypal.”
Morrison then went into some of the differences between the graphic novel version of the story as opposed to the screenplay version.
“Because the comic was written at the start of the process, it’s quite different from the way the screenplay eventually turned out. I started with the aim of doing something that felt like the kind of stories I used to love in Marvel’s “Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction” black and white book back in the ’70s, so hopefully it’s got a bit of that feel.
The comic allowed me to test a lot of the ideas in an early form before reworking and expanding on them for the screenplay. If you think of how “Blade Runner” or “I, Robot” freely adapted original science fiction short stories into Hollywood blockbusters, the comic book “DvA” stands in the same kind of relation to the movie version; the comic is like the original novella and the screenplay is the reworked Hollywood adaptation.“
For the whole interview, head on over to Comic Book Resources, where Morrison goes into things like working with Sonnenfeld some more, the cinematic style of the movie, and his overall career in Hollywood that has seemed to make him some money without actually having a lot of the projects made.
‘Dinosaurs Vs. Aliens’ will hit comic book store shelves this May.