When it comes to killing Xenomorphs, there’s nothing quite as effective as the pulse rifle – which made its first appearance in James Cameron’s Aliens in 1986. The upcoming fifth installment in the Alien franchise is currently unnamed, but generally referred to as Alien 5 – and it will be featuring a beefed up version of the pulse rifle, too.

With writer/director Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Chappie) positioning Alien 5 as the successor of Alien and Aliens, the new movie will shift its focus more on the events following Aliens. The new movie could even be retconning some of the events of Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection and bringing back characters from the dead (with Sigourney Weaver also returning as Ellen Ripley) – though, Blomkamp has made it clear his film won’t completely eliminate the latter Alien installments from the franchise canon, either.

In keeping with the tradition of Aliens, Neill Blomkamp featured one of the most prominent weapons from the movie: the pulse rifle. With Alien 5 currently in the scripting stage, Blomkamp features the updated pulse rifle on his Instagram:

We all knew there would be pulse rifles. Obviously. Now with added RIS

A photo posted by Brownsnout (@neillblomkamp) on

The director mentions how the weapon is “now with added RIS”, or rail integration system, which helps attach accessories to the pulse rifle. While previous versions have attached accessories like long-range grenades, the updated rifle could indicate that the Xenomorphs better start preparing for battle.

As Blomkamp reveals more information regarding Alien 5, it’s becoming very clear that James Cameron and his work on Aliens have heavily influenced Blomkamp more than any other Alien installments. From his Instagram pic showing Ripley’s Power Loader to concept art that revives Corporal Hicks (or was he never dead in the first place?), the new movie’s focus already seems to emphasize an action-heavy focus than most recent Alien films have.

For additional proof of that, check out this picture of Blomkamp’s “Alien Room” – with a model of the Caterpillar P-5000 Work Loader prominent in the foreground:

Alien room

A photo posted by Brownsnout (@neillblomkamp) on

For fans of the Alien franchise this could be a good thing, after Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection brought the film franchise to strange and unsettling places – but not in a good way, mind you (see the creepy human-Xenomorph hybrid in Resurrection). Bringing Alien 5 in closer to the two most successful Alien movies is a smart move – and a war movie with Xenomorphs could do the trick.

However, fans should still proceed with caution about the new film. Blomkamp’s two post-District 9 sci-fi directorial efforts (Elysium and Chappie) have gotten a middle reception, on the whole. Plus, if Prometheus and the Alien vs. Predator movies have taught us anything it’s that the Alien franchise can be a cruel mistress.

NEXT: Ridley Scott Offers Alien: Paradise Lost Plot & Character Details

Alien: Paradise Lost (a.k.a. Prometheus 2) and Alien 5 do not currently have release dates. We’ll let you know when that changes.

Source: Neill Blomkamp