Grant Morrison is knee-deep in aliens these days as he finishes up a script for Paramount called "Area 51." And while you've seen Area 51 depicted a number of different ways in television and movies over the years -- from "Independence Day" to "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" -- this one, he said, will offer something new.
"It's a new take on the mythology," Morrison promised.
Morrison's version is an adaptation of the Midway video game, in which a viral outbreak shuts down a research facility, the scientific and military personnel are locked inside under quarantine, and a small special forces unit led by the hazardous materials division investigates. In the game, the main character from HAZMAT discovers that the mutated virus controls the minds of those infected, as well as an ancient alien colony buried beneath the facility, and he has to solve several mysteries and uncover many conspiracies -- including men in black to the Illuminati -- to prevent the virus from being released and mutating life on Earth.
"That's the existing idea," Morrison said, "and I have to get to the core of that, dismantle it, and make it work. It'll be a totally different view of the aliens and the whole mythology."
Any more than that, Morrison couldn't say -- he had signed a non-disclosure agreement, after all. But we hear that not only will the "Area 51” game provide some of the settings and environments, but so will "BlackSite: Area 51," the game's sequel. Some of the characters will be the same, but there will be new characters as well.
"Comics might be more sophisticated than movies, with many intense layers of ideas that you can go back if you missed one," Morrison said, "but with movies, you get a wider audience. You get the guy in Milwaukee who doesn't care about anything, so the idea has to be more simplistic. And it's one idea. Get anywhere near two, and it's trouble. You can have to be linear because if you miss something, you can't rewind."
Who would you like to see in "Area 51”? David Duchovny and Marilyn Manson provided voices for the specialist and the alien -- should they reprise their parts in any way?