Shared universes are all the rage in Hollywood these days, and even the non-comic book properties are eager to jump in on the craze. Fox is hoping their Alien franchise can be the latest to join these ranks. Ridley Scott is preparing his Prometheus sequel Alien: Paradise Lost for production in Australia next year. In addition, District 9 director Neill Blomkamp is hoping to make the currently untitled Alien 5, which is described as a sequel to James Cameron's Aliens.
Blomkamp is obviously still developing his new adventure for Ripley, as he recently shared an image of the new pulse rifle on social media. However, it looks like he's going to have to put his Alien film on hold for a bit, while Scott figures out Alien: Paradise Lost and the other Prometheus followups he wants to do.
The filmmaker broke the news himself on Twitter, saying that he's going to be moving on to something else for the time being:
alien is kinda holding/ pending prometheus 2. So I shall be working on other things... as much as I love the xeno- and Lt ripley
— Иeill BlomkΛmp (@NeillBlomkamp) October 30, 2015
It's really not the most shocking development that this happened. A couple of months back, it was reported that Alien 5 could be delayed, so Prometheus 2 could be made first. Fox is still keen on moving forward with Blomkamp's film, but Scott allegedly insisted Alien: Paradise Lost (which has a finished script) start filming before principal photography commenced on Alien 5. Given that Blomkamp officially came on board in February 2015, he could use some extra time to fine tune his story.
The wording of Blomkamp's tweet will probably raise a few eyebrows, however. Since he had just 140 characters to provide the update, "kinda holding/pending" is a very vague term that potentially has a multitude of meanings. It does seem that this decision was made on amicable terms, since Blomkamp does not say he is off the project entirely. He still has a strong passion for the source material and is looking forward to making Alien 5 some day. It's just the nature of the business that he has to wait.
Fox is in the early stages of putting this shared universe together, and they'd be wise to not officially green-light several movies at once. Once upon a time, Sony thought they had an endless cash cow in the Amazing Spider-Man series and planned several sequels and spinoffs -- before the mixed reception of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 caused them to drastically alter their plans. They probably want to see what becomes of the Prometheus sequel before signing off on continuations of the Alien franchise. The first Prometheus was divisive, and a similar reaction to Alien: Paradise Lost could lower demand for the brand.
It will be interesting to see what Blomkamp does in the interim. He is a director who is in need of a comeback film. District 9 was a rousing start to his career, but Elysium and Chappie both saw diminishing returns critically and commercially. Moviegoers are still excited by the prospect of Blomkamp working in the Alien series, but if he doesn't turn things around soon, he may never get an opportunity to helm his dream film.
Alien: Paradise Lost (a.k.a. Prometheus 2) and Alien 5 do not currently have release dates. Screen Rant will let you know when that changes.
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