Cox, Alex

Tagged: Film | Author

(1954-    ) UK filmmaker still best known for his first feature Repo Man (1984), for which he wrote the novelization Repo Man: Not Just a Job – It's an Adventure (1988); this segues from a hyperbolic mean-street tale whose young protagonist is recruited as a repo man, and begins almost unwittingly to uncover a conspiratorial underlife in America whose currents pull him in the direction of UFO country. Waldo's Hawaiian Holiday (graph 2008) is a Graphic Novel adaptation of the unmade sequel; Cox's low-budget film Repo Chick (2009), is a non-sequel that initially seems to be a non-sf thriller but whose action proves to be taking place in a table-top simulation reminiscent of that in Frederik Pohl's "The Tunnel Under the World" (January 1955 Galaxy), which has been created by a Mad Scientist (played by Cox) for the US military. Revengers Tragedy [sic] (2002) transplants Tourneur's Jacobean play to a Near Future sf setting; many of his other films also have fantasy elements, but surrealist rather than sf.

Mouthy, politicized, and fiercely independent-minded, Cox was never a comfortable fit in Hollywood, but did successfully pitch and write three drafts of a film based on the Topps Corporation's notorious Mars Attacks! bubblegum cards, of which he owned one of the few UK sets. He was then sacked and replaced by Martin Amis; the film was eventually rescued from turnaround and made, from a later script, by Tim Burton as Mars Attacks! (1996). Other abortive projects included a stint on Marvel Comics' Dr Strange, for which he co-wrote an unmade script with Stan Lee. He was replaced by Terry Gilliam on Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) but successfully sued for reinstatement of his screenplay credit. His memoir, published in 2008, is X Films: True Confessions of a Radical Film-Maker. He directed and wrote a film adaptation of Harry Harrison's Bill, the Galactic Hero (December 1964 Galaxy as "The Starsloggers"; exp August-October 1965 New Worlds; 1965) made by students at the University of Colorado at Boulder: Bill, the Galactic Hero (2014); a commercial release is unlikely [but see under links below]. [NL/JC/DRL]

Alexander Cox

born Bebington, Wirral: 15 December 1954




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