We've lost one of the sci-fi giants of our generation.
Screenwriter, director, special effects supervisor and actor Dan O'Bannon has died at age 63. He had been in ill health recently and had been in a hospital.
According to Examiner.com:
O'Bannon was responsible for some of the favorite sci-fi/horror myths of our generation. He wrote the screenplay for a little film called Alien, directed by Ridley Scott, (you may have heard of it), and worked on all the sequels. He was also responsible for The Return of the Living Dead, the amazing George Romero zombie satire, and he worked on the Total Recall script and created the B-17 sequence in Heavy Metal. Not only that, but he provided the screenplay and served as Special Effects Supervisor on the John Carpenter flick, Dark Star, and he worked on a film called Star Wars.
Dark Star is one flick that I still find hilarious, especially the "beach ball" alien.
He had been working on an Alien prequel prior to his illness.
His talents will be missed.