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A remake of sci-fi romance classic Starman is in the works

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From the director of Night at the Museum

Columbia Pictures

Starman, the old '80s romance film dressed up as a sci-fi flick, is getting a remake with Night at the Museum director Shawn Levy, according to a report today from The Hollywood Reporter. The original starred Jeff Bridges, fresh off the original Tron two years prior, as an alien who comes to Earth in the form of a woman's dead husband, whereupon the two life forms fall in love while the government pursues the extraterrestrial from Wisconsin to Arizona.

The premise sounds bizarre for a 1984 film, but it functioned well in the context of the decade's sci-fi adventure theme, best emphasized by 1982's E.T. the Extra-TerrestrialThe Man Who Fell From Earth, featuring David Bowie in his first starring role, introduced viewers to the idea of aliens not as horrific, antagonist monsters, but as misunderstood beings who are ultimately mistreated by the US government. Starman was essentially the palatable, romance-heavy version for a more mainstream audience. In 2016, with films like Midnight Special harkening back to these government-fueled chases in supernatural-themed '80s classics, a Starman remake makes a lot of sense.

It's the right time for a Starman remake

Director Levy is joined by producer and actor Michael Douglas, who urged Columbia Pictures to pick up the original Starman script. The script, however, is being penned by Arash Amel, who wrote the ill-fated Grace Kelly biopic Grace of Monaco. The remake wouldn't be Levy's first sci-fi film, as the director helmed the Hugh Jackman robot boxing movie Real Steel in 2011. But as THR notes, it is Levy's first film to center wholly on a love narrative, albeit with an alien thrown in the mix.