Director Neill Blomkamp's currently untitled Alien 5 has been placed on hold while Ridley Scott works on his Prometheus sequel, Alien: Covenant. However, all signs are pointing to the film still coming through the pipeline in the near future. Franchise star Sigourney Weaver recently stated that she would be surprised if the sequel was not made, indicating that Fox plans to move forward on Blomkamp's movie once Covenant is completed - as has been the plan since the project was initially delayed last year.
Even though Blomkamp's latest films (Chappie, Elysium) haven't matched his debut District 9 in terms of critical or commercial reception, there's still excitement to see his take on the famed Alien universe. Most of this enthusiasm stems from the idea that Alien 5 will serve as a followup to the beloved Aliens, largely ignoring Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection. Blomkamp has essentially confirmed this will be the case via concept art of an older Ripley and Hicks (who died in the third film) preparing for battle. If those two are still at it, one would be safe to think Newt isn't far behind - and apparently the character is part of Blomkamp's plan.
To celebrate Alien Day, the filmmaker took to his Instagram account to share a drawing of an adult Newt, looking battle-hardened as she awaits another showdown with the Xenomorphs. The idea of Newt returning to the series is one that will surely please many longtime fans, who expressed displeasure after the unceremonious deaths of Hicks and Newt in the beginning of Alien 3 (which seemingly undermined the entirety of Aliens). Check out the drawing below:
The implication here is that grown-up Newt will appear in Alien 5, as Hicks actor Michael Biehn previously claimed was part of Blomkamp's plan. However, it remains to be seen if an Alien "shared universe" (which includes two Prometheus sequels to round out a prequel trilogy) can successfully get off the ground. Reaction to the first Prometheus was somewhat mixed, and if that happens again, the studio could be hesitant to green light another installment in the series. Even when there's a sound plan in place, it doesn't mean everything on the slate is a guarantee to pan out - just ask Sony and their would-be Amazing Spider-Man franchise.
Having said that, Newt being in Alien 5 would almost be a necessity. Reestablishing the character could be a crucial development for the film and the series as a whole - especially if it's a large enough hit to warrant a sequel or two. The actress portraying Newt could be set up as the new main lead, following Weaver's footsteps and becoming the primary focus moving forward. The "passing of the torch" trope has been used in several franchise revivals (Creed, Star Wars: The Force Awakens), so it would only be logical for Alien 5 to incorporate it as well. As great as Weaver is, she can't play Ripley forever. If the Alien property is to continue to thrive, there has to be a successor in place, and there aren't many better options than Newt.
Alien: Covenant opens in U.S. theaters on August 4th, 2017. We’ll bring you more information on Alien 5 as it becomes available.
Source: Neill Blomkamp