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HOLLYWOOD SIGNS

'Cocoon' & Its Sequels

November 27, 1988|PAT H. BROESKE

So you want to check in on the folks/aliens you met in "Cocoon." Question is: Which sequel should you catch?

True, there's 20th Century Fox's just-out screen sequel, "Cocoon: The Return," which marks the feature screenwriting debut of TV writers Stephen McPherson and Elizabeth Bradley.

But there's also the just-on-the-stands paperback novel "Metamorphosis." By David Saperstein (from Jove Books), it's the middle of a trilogy that was initiated by Saperstein's best-selling novel, "Cocoon." (The final book, to be called "Butterfly," is due by early 1990.)

And its storyline is different from the film's!

The reason: the producers/writers of the film never asked Saperstein how he'd like his story/characters to continue on the screen.

"It is strange (that I wasn't contacted)," said Saperstein. "It's kind of presumptuous for someone to even think they know what's in my mind. From the beginning, I told Fox that 'Cocoon' was part of a trilogy. But. . . . "

Saperstein, who has directed two films from screenplays he wrote, did submit a 40-page sequel outline to Fox. But the studio, which has the contractual rights to do "Cocoon's" screen sequels, went ahead with its own version.

(Saperstein is currently doing post-production on "Personal Choice," which he scripted/directed. It stars Martin Sheen, F. Murray Abraham and Christian Slater in a story about a young man's friendship with a former astronaut. The film is scheduled for release in February.)

The "Cocoon" screen sequel includes dramatics involving the fate of a "junior" alien who emerges from a cocoon found beneath the sea. And there's romantic carousing between young Steve Guttenberg and Tahnee Welch. And lots of peppy fun among the oldsters--who've returned to Earth. And there's a very-late-in-life pregnancy for one of the couples.

"It's about 180 degrees from what 'Metamorphosis' and 'Butterfly' are about," said Saperstein (who was sent a copy of the film's screenplay by the studio).

His sequel finds the older earthlings returning to Earth with the alien Antareans--and the stork. That is, the three older women are pregnant, carrying "off-planet" (half-alien) babies. And one of the men has mated with an alien female. "The grandmas and grandpas are going to become parents again," enthused Saperstein, who revealed that "Butterfly" will deal with their offspring.

He's hopeful that those who catch the film will also pick up the book--"so they know the real sequel."

Good sales are expected: The "Cocoon" book was translated into seven languages and about a million copies were sold.

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