CATEGORIES Movies
Prolific horror/sci-fi screenwriter Dan O'Bannon, the creative force behind the enduring 'Alien' franchise, has died at the age of 63 in Los Angeles after a short illness.

Before teaming with writer Ronald Shusett on the script behind Ridley Scott's groundbreaking 1979 hit 'Alien' (originally titled 'Star Beast'), O'Bannon broke into the film business in 1974 by penning 'Dark Star' for former USC classmate John Carpenter. O'Bannon also edited and co-starred in that low-budget effort. Prolific horror/sci-fi screenwriter Dan O'Bannon, the creative force behind the enduring 'Alien' franchise, has died at the age of 63 in Los Angeles after a short illness.

Before teaming with writer Ronald Shusett on the script behind Ridley Scott's groundbreaking 1979 hit 'Alien' (originally titled 'Star Beast'), O'Bannon broke into the film business in 1974 by penning 'Dark Star' for former USC classmate John Carpenter. O'Bannon also edited and co-starred in that low-budget effort.

The jack-of-all-film-trades acumen soon led him to join the visual effects team behind George Lucas' first 'Star Wars' -- quite a thing on one's resume, in its own right.

However, it was the gritty, terrifying -- scientifically imaginative -- 'Alien' that defined the career of O'Bannon, who kept up the writing credits through three decades of sequels and spin-offs, including 2007's 'AVPR: Aliens vs. Predator -- Requiem.'

His resume also included the Paul Verhoeven's 1990 Philip K. Dick adaptation 'Total Recall,' as well as 'Return of the Living Dead,' George Romero's 1985 follow-up to his 1968 zombie classic 'Night of the Living Dead.'