Was One of the Main Characters in Alien Nation Originally Going to be Named George Jetson?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about movies and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the movie urban legends featured so far.

MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: Mandy Patinkin’s character in Alien Nation was going to be named George Jetson but a rights issue spoiled the opportunity.

The 1988 film Alien Nation starred James Caan and Mandy Patinkin as human and alien police partners in 1991 Los Angeles.

One of the running gags in the film is the fact that the aliens (who crashlanded on Earth awhile back) all had to be given Earth names before the attempted to assimilate into Earth culture, and since there were over a quarter of a million of them, immigration officials eventually got a bit fast and loose with their names.

Patinkin’s character (seen here with Caan) was given the comical name Sam Francisco.

In the film, though, he’s given the nickname “George.”

This is a reference to his ORIGINAL name in the original screenplay, which was George Jetson!

However, Hanna-Barbara objected to the use of the name (I am not absolutely positive that they HAD to give consent to the use of the name, but I suppose Fox felt that there was a decent chance of some licensing tie-ins with the film, so they figured they’d be better off NOT possibly infringing on a trademark).

It’s too bad – more characters in films should be named George Jetson, I say!

The legend is…


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One Response to “Was One of the Main Characters in Alien Nation Originally Going to be Named George Jetson?”

  1. ParanoidObsessive on July 21st, 2013 at 6:52 am

    To be honest, I think it worked out better anyway. The pun of “Sam Francisco” is a lot funnier than the Jetson’s reference, and James Caan’s sense of incredulity and disgust as he’s fully introduced to Sam, followed by his sort of grumpy “I think I’ll just call you George” line is one of the most memorable parts of that movie.

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