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Much as I am genuinely looking forward to seeing Jon Favreau's Cowboys & Aliens this summer, I now recognize that it is part of an insidious trend that absolutely must be stopped. As if the entire movie industry has suddenly become a playroom full of five-year-olds bashing their favorite action figures against each other, we're being buried under a pile of movies that assume "Awesome Thing A + Awesome Thing B = Awesomest Thing"-- except that the math almost never works that way. Next up on the docket: dinosaurs vs. aliens, specifically the movie Dominion: Dinosaurs Versus Aliens, coming at us from Men In Black III director Barry Sonnenfeld.
Yes, once he's done plowing through the troubled third film in a series no one particularly wanted to see continued, Sonnenfeld will be working with Liquid Comics and producer Arnold Rifkin on a story that will be developed as a graphic novel and screenplay by comics artist Grant Morrison. He told Deadline, "Growing up, my fascination was all things dinosaur, and as an adult, I've had some success making films about aliens, so this is a dream come true." Of course, Steven Spielberg could have said the same thing around the time he made Jurassic Park, but he wasn't working in a time when genre mash-ups were the inexplicable new movie craze.
The plotline is pretty evident from the title: aliens invade the earth, dinosaurs have to muster their minuscule smarts and strike back, etc. etc. There's no guarantee it couldn't be good, of course, just as I won't write off Cowboys & Aliens based on a similarly goofy premise. But really, is this something we need? I hate complaining about original ideas, no matter how bizarre, but at this point these mash-ups don't even feel that original anymore.