Sci-fi filmmaker Neill Blomkamp's next movie, Chappie, is just around the corner, but the director has been making headlines for reasons other than his anticipated original tale. A couple of months ago, Blomkamp revealed unofficial Alien concept art, which he pegged as nothing more than "a mental stroll" in the universe that Ridley Scott created in his seminal 1979 film.
But, there was apparently fire to go with this smoke. Not too long ago, Blomkamp was openly discussing his desires to make Alien 5 one of his films, and franchise star Sigourney Weaver (who worked with Blomkamp on Chappie) said that she'd be game should the project ever get the green light. Now, it seems that day is here - with word coming from none other than Blomkamp himself.
In a post on his Instagram account, the director stated that his next movie will indeed be an entry into the Alien franchise:
Shortly after Blomkamp shared his news, sources from Variety confirmed that Fox has closed a deal with him to call the shots on a new Alien movie. So anyone who thought that the Instagram image was nothing more than Blomkamp's wishful thinking need not take those grains of salt. This is really happening.
With a new Alien film so early in development, it's also impossible to say what exactly the plot will entail. Blomkamp's post, however exciting it may be, is scarce on other details. Weaver's previous quotes would indicate that the Ellen Ripley character will be involved in some capacity, but right now only Blomkamp knows what her next mission could be. However, story details could emerge shortly, given that Fox has put this project on the fast track.
Though it looks like Alien 5 has come together rather quickly, there has been talk about the possibilities of such a film for a while. Weaver has gone on record stating that she thought there was still more story to tell and that longtime fans of the franchise would want to see her character's (Ellen Ripley) arc completed in a new installment, following the events of Alien: Resurrection. Whether those were clues that this news was on the horizon or not, Weaver seems to be getting her wish granted.
The one question on everyone's minds will be how this new film relates to Ridley Scott's Prometheus 2, which is coming through the pipeline for a possible 2016 release. As we've speculated before, the two movies will co-exist and not cancel each other out. Justin Kroll of Variety tweeted that Alien 5 is a separate entity, and the Prometheus sequel is still happening. It seems that Fox has another blossoming shared cinematic universe to go with its Marvel Comics properties.
Now that it's officially happening, Alien 5 is just the latest film in a long list of productions that will look to revive long-dormant Hollywood franchises and introduce them to a new generation of moviegoers. The box office numbers for 2015 will be a strong indicator as to how long this trend will go on, but given the levels of excitement surrounding some of these films, there is a strong chance that this business strategy proves to be as successful as the superhero movies. Some may frown upon the studios returning to the well after so many years, but if a creative eye like Blomkamp is behind the camera, we doubt too many will complain.
We'll keep you updated on the development of Neill Blomkamp's Alienmovie as more information becomes available.