Neill Blomkamp recently officially signed on to helm a film in the Alien franchise, becoming the latest filmmaker looking to revive an iconic Hollywood property for a new generation of audiences. There is much excitement surrounding the project, since Blomkamp has proven himself as a more-than-capable sci-fi filmmaker with works like District 9. However, nobody knows what the plot will entail just yet.
Well before an Alien 5 gained any traction, series star Sigourney Weaver stated that she felt that there was still part of Ellen Ripley’s story left to be told. With Blomkamp admitting that his idea came together via conversations he had with Weaver, it certainly seems as if this is the route the new film will take. But where in the timeline will we pick things up? According to Blomkamp, it’ll be after James Cameron’s Aliens.
In an interview with Sky News, both Blomkamp and Weaver seemed privy to the concept of giving Ripley a “proper finish,” as the actress called it. In Blomkamp’s mind, that involves imagining that both Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection never happened and instead choosing to follow the footsteps of James Cameron’s 1986 classic, Aliens.
Here’s Blomkamp’s quote:
“I want this film to feel like it’s literally the genetic sibling of ‘Aliens.’ So it’s ‘Alien,’ ‘Aliens,’ and then this movie.”
This will probably come as some surprise to some fans, but there’s probably a large portion of them who believe that this move would be for the best. Both Alien and Aliens are highly-regarded as some of the best sci-fi offerings of all time, but the series saw a notable slip in overall quality beginning with Alien 3 – which nonetheless as its supporters – and couldn’t reclaim its former glory with the critically-derided Resurrection. Choosing to retcon the series a la Halloween H20 would be an interesting way of giving it a fresh start, while still honoring what came before.
One of the biggest points of contention with Alien 3 was how it ungracefully ended the stories of Hicks (Michael Biehn), Newt (Carrie Henn), and Bishop (Lance Henricksen) after those three characters played such a large role in the previous movie. Blomkamp’s do-over would be a great opportunity to do those character justice, either by allowing them to continue in the proceedings or giving them a more suitable conclusion. Anyone who’s seen Blomkamp’s unofficial Alien concept work knows that this is an angle that’s been on his mind for a while, since one of the images included a weathered Ripley and Hicks preparing for battle.
In addition to looking to fix the Alien franchise, Blomkamp is also eager to take the series back to its roots. Like the original Terminator movies, part of what made the first two Alien films so great was how they masterfully blended horror and suspense with sci-fi elements. That’s something the director will embrace with his project, as he spoke about his admiration for the old school tone:
“It’s a Freudian nightmare. That element to me is what is so appealing. To try to put the audience on the edge of their seat, in a traditional monster stalking you in a dark corridor way.”
As you might recall, the pitch for the first Alien movie was literally “Jaws in space,” meaning that ever since 1979, filmmakers have been viewing these films as horror flicks that were carried by thrilling sequences of a monster stalking people. If Blomkamp is able to recapture that sense of dread and terror with his entry, then longtime fans could finally have that “proper” sequel to Aliens that they always dreamed of. Everyone involved has expressed enthusiasm for the project, so hopefully they can deliver.
We’ll keep you updated on Neill Blomkamp’s Alien movie as more information becomes available.
Source: Sky News