Dan O’Bannon 1946-2009
Hollywood screenwriter Dan O’Bannon has died in an LA hospital following a short illness, aged 63. O’Bannon worked primarily in sci-fi and horror, with his most famous contribution to Hollywood blending the two perfectly: he was one of the brains behind Ridley Scott’s groundbreaking Alien.
As well as Alien, he was involved in many projects which are currently regarded as seminal in the genres of horror and sci-fi. He co-wrote, edited and contributed to special effects on John Carpenter’s Dark Star and wrote and directed what is widely regarded as the first zombie comedy film, the Night of the Living Dead spoof Return of the Living Dead. Other credits include writing on Total Recall and his short story The Long Tomorrow, which provided the main visual influence for Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, and working on FX for Star Wars: A New Hope.
O’Bannon’s imagination has left an important and lasting legacy on Hollywood. His merging of genres has ensured his contributed to the culture of intelligent, groundbreaking horror and sci-fi – writers like O’Bannon don’t come around very often. He’ll be missed.