For most of us science fiction writers, the dream is to see your work on the silver-screen, and in 1985, noted sci-fi author Barry B. Longyear was able to see his award-winning military sci-fi short-story in theaters with the movie Enemy Mine. However,Enemy Mine would die at the cinema, and became a true forgotten classic of military science fiction in later years. While this movie was quickly forgotten in the sci-fi crazy of the 1980's, the film made an impression on me when I finally watched on TNT in the 1990's. So much so, that when I founded FWS back in 2010, Enemy Mine was one of those forgotten classics of military science fiction that really wanted to discuss on this site, because of just how good this film really was. In this blogpost on another Forgotten Classic of MSF, we will exam 1985's Enemy Mine. For those with access and are curious, production of Enemy Mine was covered in Cinefex #25 (Feb. 86) and Starlog #102 (Jan. 86).
The Story of ENEMY MINE
The Original Text: ENEMY MINE by Barry B. Longyear
To the surprise of some, Enemy Mine was based on a short-story written by Barry B. Longyear, and was highly praised during its original publication back in 1979. However, today there is some confusion about the work that lead to the 1985 20th Century Fox film. It seems that there several different works with the same name and basic story are floating around. The "original" text was written in February of 1978 and based off the 1968 film War in the Pacific and published by Issac Asimov;s Science Fiction Magazine in the September 1979 issue. This won the 1980 Hugo for best novella, along with the Nebula award for best novella in 1980, as well. It would be reprinted a number of times onward from 1979 to 2008. Later, in 1998, the author would expand the original short-story to a novella with the "author's cut" for the publisher White Wolf collection of Enemy Mine stories called The Enemy Papers.
How Does Movie Defer from the Original Story?
Zammis is located in a "house of despair", where unclaimed Draco go to await their fate, and since Zammis father could not present him and his family line heritage to the elder council, than he is like an untouchable in Draco society. At first, Zammis did not recognized "uncle" until they paid the "finger games". According to some outlines of the novella, there is much devoted to get Zammis to the elder-council, and the book ends with Zammis being added to the line, fulfilling Davidge's promise to Jerry.
The Historical Context of ENEMY MINE
The Rise and Fall of ENEMY MINE
this year's Dune". Others, while impressed with the overall message of the film and the actors themselves, called the plot predicable. Even 20th Century Fox executives were not hopefully of Enemy Mine's chances of recouping its money given its enemies-turned-friend central plot. One was even quoted saying that the returns didn't matter, because the film was doomed anyways. Cute, but he was right, the returns were not promising. Enemy Mine would generated $1.6 million on opening weekend. When the dust settled, Enemy Mine only made $12 million back on a $40 million investment (some say $48 million!)...sounds like the US Stock Market as of late, and the film quickly disappeared.
Why Was ENEMY MINE Forgotten?
Why is ENEMY MINE an Classic?
ENEMY MINE Remake?
He Said What?! And Other ENEMY MINE Trivia
-Originally, author Barry Longyear was going to divide up Enemy Mine into two stories. Enemy Mine would have ended with the birth of Zammis and the sequel Son Mine would have picked the rest of the story. However, Barry's wife convicted him to combine the two stories into one.
-Louis Gossett, Jr stated that the special Drac voice for Jerry came from his own childhood experience with gargling saliva.
-Portions of the movie depicted the hostile alien environment were film in Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland...which now filming in Iceland for alien worlds is trendy. Other alien environmental shots were filming in Lanzarote Islands, near Spain.
-Veteran Babylon 5 actor Peter Jurasik was going to be Enemy Mine when the original director was still filming. Peter was to play "a gravedigger", but when the new director was brought on, Peter's role was cut, along with all of the scenes filmed. At the present time, there are no plans to bring these elements back to the light of day.
-The 21st century Pepsi soda picked up by Davidge was original a Coca-Cola can in the novella, and it is rumored that Pepsi paid for an product placement. This would follow a trend of Pepsi colas been seen in sci-fi films, as part of their "Choice of a New Generation" ad campaign. Gods, I hate frakking Pepsi! Proud Coca-Coke drinkers in my house.
-There was to be a longer ending to the film, showing more of Darcon and the Holy Council scene. Some believe that these scenes were filmed and scrapped due to the massive cost overrun.
What I Wish was in ENEMY MINE
The Impact of ENEMY MINE
The ENEMY MINE Alliance Model Kit
Some Hardware Pictures
Before original director Richard Loncraine was canned by the studio, the BTA was going to use a combat space shuttle-like design for the BTA offensive starship, instead of the more X-Wing like fighter seen the Wolfgang Petersen film. This model was seen in Cinefex#25, but was cut when the film was re-shot.