Clair Noto’s “The Tourist” is a fine, if tragic, example of an innovative original screenplay getting filtered through the studio system and becoming something totally different in the process. “The Tourist” is about a diverse group of aliens who live on Earth in secret, sometimes wearing disguises to blend in. At night, they go to a clandestine nightclub called “The Corridor” to have sex with other aliens and humans and lament their being stranded. The main character is Grace Ripley, an alien disguised beautiful business executive, who uncovers a conspiracy within The Corridor to murder humans.
“I wanted to portray sexual agony and ecstasy in a way I had never seen before, and science fiction seemed like the arena.” H.R. Giger famously drew up some provocative alien designs for “The Tourist,” and he was only one of several artists considered to design the aliens of the Corridor; Noto wanted each species to be designed by a different artist, so that the creatures would be as alien from each other as the styles of their respective artists. Clair Noto wrote the script for Universal, under the supervision of executive Sean Daniels, who after receiving the completed script from Noto immediately passed it on to another screenwriter for a rewrite.
So begins the downfall of “The Tourist,” as a nearly endless string of rewrites and additions dulled the edges of Clair Noto’s screenplay. The outlook for “The Tourist” these days isn’t good; Noto has said that directors have read “The Tourist” and picked at some of its ideas, and a modern production would only appear derivative.READ MORE~