Friday, December 18, 2009 R.I.P. Dan O'Bannon

1946 - 2009

Yesterday we lost someone you've probably never heard of, but whose creations you've known and loved for over twenty years.

Dan O'Bannon created and wrote the first screenplay for Alien. He essentially invented the fast zombie in his Return of the Living Dead. The comic story he did with legendary artist Mobius, "The Long Tomorrow", is widely acknowledged as one of the first cyberpunk works and was a primary inspiration for the look of the film, Blade Runner. He wrote Total Recall, Blue Thunder, Screamers, and Lifeforce. The creepiest segment of the Heavy Metal movie, "B-17", was taken from his original art and story. He even did special effects work on the first Star Wars film.

O'Bannon was an unheralded giant who contributed greatly to geek culture. Next time you hear a zombie calling for brains, think of ol' Dan.

O'Bannon in John Carpenter's Dark Star