O'Bannon also suffered from Crohn's disease for 30 years, which contributed to his death in 2009 at the age of 63.
O'Bannon worked on developing a film version of Frank Herbert's sci-fi novel Dune, but the project languished and was eventually picked up and completed by David Lynch. He then moved on to write the screenplay for Aliens, which at the time of its release in 1979, was a ground breaking film that terrified audiences. Aliens contains one of the most iconic scenes in movie history: the "chest-bursting" scene, where a newborn alien unexpectedly bursts out of a man's sternum.
Released in 1985, Return of the Living Dead was a film that changed the zombie-horror genre by taking a more comedic approach to the material. Although both Return of the Living Dead and Alien generated several sequels and evolved into huge franchises, O'Bannon was not involved beyond the initial films.