See Vincent D’Onofrio Fight Aliens In The Old West In Night Of The Cooters Trailer

By Nathan Kamal | 1 month ago

Vincent D'Onofrio

Marvel Cinematic Universe fans may have gotten what they have been waiting for with the appearance of Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk a.ka. The Kingpin on Disney +’s Hawkeye series, but that’s not all the D’Onofrio we are getting this holiday season. While The Kingpin only showed up in the last two episodes of the Jeremy Renner/Hailee Steinfeld show, D’Onofrio is starring and directing in Night of the Cooters, a new short film produced by Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin. The trailer has just dropped, and well, it looks pretty fantastic. 

See Vincent D’Onofrio in the trailer below.

Per the trailer, Night of the Cooter stars Vincent D’Onofrio as Sheriff Lindley, a Texas sheriff in a small and dusty Pachuco County town. In just over a minute of run time, the trailer builds a pretty ominous atmosphere as the deserted-looking little town slowly gives way to the discovery of some kind of cylindrical alien object in the dirt. What we are looking at is essentially H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds, but instead of turn of the century England, these Martians are invading the Wild West. In contrast to his more famous role as a hairless, intimidating behemoth of a crime boss, D’Onofrio as Sheriff Lindley looks comparatively more out of his depth, not to mention bearded. And who can blame him? It’s not everyday you get invaded by aliens.

But perhaps the most intriguing part of the Vincent D’Onofrio short film is the visual style. Combined a live-action fluidity and a painterly kind of animation, it almost looks rotoscoped in the style of Richard Linklater’s Phillip K. Dick adaptation A Scanner Darkly (which co-starred D’Onofrio’s fellow MCU star Robert Downey Jr.) or the cult movies of Ralph Bakshi, like the Brad Pitt oddity Cool World. Reportedly Lumenscapes and Trioscope Studios (who helmed the animation) use a different technique, but the uncanny style of illustration mixing with photography remains. It’s not a visual style you see often these days, which makes the experimentation of it all the more thrilling. 

Adapted from a short story by science-fiction author Howard Waldrop, Night of the Cooters treads some of the same territory as 2011’s Jon Favreau movie Cowboys vs. Aliens, which well, also featured cowboys facing off against aliens. While that feature was considered a disappointment (despite the presence of both Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig), there’s considerably less riding on a short film like this. George R.R. Martin has said it has long been a dream of his to adapt Waldrop’s short story, and while Vincent D’Onofrio has only directed a handful of short films across his long career, it’s undeniably exciting to imagine him facing off against the massive Martian spacecraft seen briefly floating across screen. And of course, this isn’t the first time he’s faced off against some strange beasts. While fans have been clamoring for Martin to finish his long awaited Song of Ice and Fire series, we’re currently about seven years past the deadline he announced a decade ago. But after the cultural saturation of his most famous work, it’s not difficult to imagine he wanted to have some fun and just get in there with Martians and sheriffs.