Saturday, May 22, 2010

UFO: The Movie

The Movie
1969Original SHADO logo 2010New SHADO logo (UFO, Matthew Gratzner, 2011)

I am not a big fan of sci fi remakes, War of the Worlds, The Day the Earth Stood Still and others have turned out to be disappointing however I am hoping that UFO 2011 will be the exception.  I have been a fan of the original UFO since it first aired way back in the 70’s.  I believe that UFO would have had a longer run if it had a bigger budget and more time to grow its viewership.  I have had every episode on VHS for sometime now and last year I brought the full DVD set.
New site for Matthew Gratzner's UFO movie
Plot Summary for UFO (from IMDB)
Based in the near future - where a super secret military organization SHADO (Supreme Headquarters Alien Defense Organization) becomes operational. Its purpose, to defend Earth from an Alien race, which has been abducting humans from all corners of the planet for decades.

SHADO's cover is a London movie studio where their main headquarters are hidden deep below the surface. SHADO, run by the extremely dedicated "Studio Mogul" and SHADO Commander Ed Straker has a cadre of crack operatives with an arsenal of cutting edge futuristic weapons systems and hidden bases on earth and beyond. UFO is the first in a trilogy of tent-pole movies based on the 1970's cult TV show, UFO, created by Gerry Anderson. Written by DK

The casting so far seems a little weak.  I am a big fan of the TV show Fringe and although I think that Joshua Jackson is a fine actor I am not so sure that he can pull off the role of Paul Foster.  Heroes’ actress Ali Larter has been rumored to play the part of Virginia Lake, which should be interesting.
The approach taken by the studio is to start from the very beginning that is to say the first UFO series never existed.  Is this a plus or a minus?

On one hand new fans will be able to catch up on SHADO and the players involved but I am pretty sure that more than a few die hard fans will not be happy with what the writers and producers will do with their beloved charters in the remake.

On the other hand it will take time to explain who SHADO is and what they do; this will probably slow down the pace of the first half of the movie and bore those who are already familiar with the program.  Will the producers and director stay true to the original cast, probably not?
Ayesha waves at George Sewell in the opening episode of 'UFO' (1970)A few years ago when I wrote my very own outline and summary for UFO the movie my approach was a bit different, okay it was a lot different.  In my story SHADO was secretly resurrected when entire groups of people had gone missing at the same time.  It is a joint effort between the US and Brittan with mobiles stationed around the world.  Commander Ed Straker was replaced by his nephew who had the benefit of his uncle’s counsel before he passed away.  Needless to say everything has been updated and there is one Skydiver for each ocean, The Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic, Indian, and Southern ocean.
I don’t want to give away the whole story but I will say that the aliens manage to build a secret base/laboratory in an isolated area on Earth.  There are several large specially equipped alien ships and several cloning experts from around the world have gone missing.  Straker and company have several deadly encounters with the alien force on Earth as well as Moon base where the interceptors now have more than one weapon to fire.  By the halfway mark thousands of people have been abducted and a member of SHADO has gone undercover.

There are so many great stories that can be written around this secret origination and as I have already said I am optimistic that they can pull it off.  There is a lot riding on the first movie since there are already plans to turn it into a trilogy over the next ten years.  According to reports the first movie is due out sometimes next year (2011) hence the title UFO 2011, but with all the buzz about 2012 and the new X Files movie I hope the release date does not clash with other big name motion pictures.  As they say, timing is everything.

Larry Johnson
Author – Escape 2 Earth 2012


  1. How do you figure Josh can't pull off playing Paul Foster? Do you think of him only has Pacey freaking witter?

  2. Matthew Gratzner director/co-producer of UFO 2011 said "For the ladies who found series lead Ed Bishop too angry and remote to LUST AFTER, Gerry Anderson soon brought HUNKY young Bond-contender Michael Billington into the role of apprentice UFO-hunter Paul Foster." Foster is a womanizer/playboy/bad boy. Joshua is more like the guy next door. I never said that he was one dimensional. " I think that Joshua Jackson is a fine actor"