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Picard’ Showrunner Terry Matalas Tackling ‘Enemy Mine’

Picard’ Showrunner Terry Matalas Tackling ‘Enemy Mine’

Terry Matalas, the showrunner who steered the final season of Star Trek: Picard to new ratings and critical heights, has been tapped to write an update of the 1985 cult sci-fi movie Enemy Mine for 20th Century Studios.

Set in a future where mankind is warring with a reptilian alien species, Mine starred Dennis Quaid has a human pilot and Louis Gossett Jr. as an alien who crash land on a desolate planet. Both have deep-seated hatred for one another, but are forced to overcome their prejudices to survive. Things are taken up a notch when the human pilot must take care of the alien’s baby when the reptilian is no longer able.

Mine was the English-language debut of German filmmaker Wolfgang Petersen, who took over the project after 20th Century Fox fired original director Richard Loncraine during production. The imbroglio, which necessitated reshooting the film, ballooned the budget, with more woe coming when the movie crash landed at the box office.

Years later, however, the movie enjoyed a reappraisal, with many lauding its themes of tolerance and respect, earning it a cult following.

The original film was based on a novella by the sci-fi author Barry B. Longyear. The novella was originally published in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine in 1979. The story won the Nebula Award that year for best novella. It was followed by two sequels and eventually published as a trilogy titled The Enemy Papers.

No producer or director is currently on board.

Matalas earned his stripes in the sci-fi TV world, where he was the creator and showrunner of the 12 Monkeys TV series and exec producer and showrunner of season four of the rebooted MacGyver series.

However, it was his work on Picard that made studio heads into fans. First joining Picard as a writer in season two, Matalas became the showrunner for the third season, injecting a focused energy on a listless show  and making that final season one for the Star Trek books. Fans and audiences perked up – the show cracked the Nielsen streaming charts – as did critics, with Matalas earning a WGA nomination for his work.

Alas, CBS opted not to move on with a Star Trek: Legacy Matalas spoke of in the press, but Star Trek’s loss seems to be the gain of now several Disney divisions. Picard caught the eye of Marvel head Kevin Feige, who set him as the showrunner for a new untitled Marvel Television series centered on the character of The Vision and could hit Disney+ in 2026.

And Picard also caught the eye of 20th Century Studios president and fellow Trekker Steve Asbell, who invited the multi-hyphenate into his portfolio. Mine now marks Matalas’ first film deal since the success of Picard. (Fun fact: Matalas, Feige and Asbell were on Trek podcast Inglorious Treksperts earlier this year together defending Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.)

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He is repped by CAA and Anonymous Content.

ENEMY MINE, from left: Louis Gossett Jr., Dennis Quaid, 1985

20th Century Fox Film Corp./Courtesy Everett Collection

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