Aliens who look like humans are as old as science fiction itself. But in the early 80’s the television miniseries V took the idea to a whole new level. Human-looking aliens were one thing, but the idea of a friendly human face being only a mask to be gruesomely peeled away before the true assault begins played not only to the fear of the unknown as embodied by attackers from another world, but also played to our paranoia regarding those already around us.
This fear had already been masterfully unleashed upon 1980’s audiences with John Carpenter’s The Thing one year early. But 1983’s V took the idea to its next logical level, preying upon contemporary Cold War fears of fascism and the seeming inevitability of invasion by totalitarian armies. It was an idea that resonated with audiences. But two miniseries events and a short-lived television series left Kenneth Johnson’s story of reptilian aliens who masquerade as humans unfinished. A 2009 reboot series likewise went unfinished. Now V has another chance and Johnson himself is back to make it happen.
On February 6th Desilu Studios announced that a big-budget film version of V was in the works. Johnson – who was not involved in subsequent V productions following the first miniseries – is slated to write and direct.
In a statement, Johnson said, “We are delighted to team up with Desilu to bring the timeless — and timely — story of resistance against tyranny into the 21st Century. V will be the first of a cinematic trilogy which will tell the full epic tale in the manner I always envisioned.”
Desilu Studios will need no introduction to sci-fi fans. Founded by and named for Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball, Desilu was the studio that greenlit the original Star Trek in 1964. Now back in business under new leadership, Desilu seems set on becoming a major entertainment player again and are fully invested in the iconic V brand as a means to do so.
“V is a multi-billion dollar film franchise and merchandising juggernaut,” said Desilu Exec VP Steven Posen. “We couldn’t be more excited and honored to bring this film to the millions of devoted fans worldwide.”
No mention has yet been made of a potential release date for the upcoming V film, let alone the subsequent portions of the trilogy it will launch. But given the timely nature of the story and Desilu’s seeming commitment to it as a brand, it is unlikely that things will remain quiet on the alien invasion front for long.