To say that the Alien franchise has had a bit of a tumultuous history would be an understatement. While Ridley Scott's original 1979 sci-fi/horror masterpiece remains beloved -- and was a huge hit at the time of its release -- and James Cameron's 1986 "bug hunt" Aliens is generally regarded as a more than worthy sequel, the Alien entries beyond that tend to be much more divisive. David Fincher's Alien 3 fell victim to one of the most legendarily troubled productions in modern history, while Alien: Resurrection was seen by most as at best an amusing diversion, and at worst completely unnecessary.
Thankfully, after the Alien vs. Predator films failed to live up to their potential, franchise creator Scott returned to try and right the ship in 2012, with the far-flung prequel Prometheus. While Prometheus ultimately proved divisive among series devotees, the film performed respectably at the box office, earning $403 million worldwide on a budget of $130 million. This success led Fox to commission Scott's soon to arrive follow-up, Alien: Covenant. The latest installment in the franchise serves to bridge the gap between Prometheus and the original Alien, with three more installments already planned.
Based on a comment Scott made to the Sydney Morning Herald, though, that may only be the beginning of Alien's overall future:
"If you really want a franchise, I can keep cranking it for another six. I'm not going to close it down again. No way."
Putting aside the obvious question of just how many more features the 79-year-0ld Scott has left in him, the above statement seems to make it clear that he is very much enjoying being back at the helm of the Alien franchise, and has no plans to relinquish the captain's chair anytime soon. That said, Scott's comment about not wanting to "close" the franchise down again could conceivably also mean that he wants Alien to continue chugging along long after his tenure as director ends.
For the studio's part, it's hard to imagine that Fox would have an issue with Scott opting to keep Alien going into the foreseeable future, as the name of the game in Hollywood these days is to make sure that one's studio owns as many marketable franchises as possible. While it'll be hard for anyone to top Disney's combo of Marvel and Star Wars in that respect, Fox is no slouch when it comes to franchises, boasting Alien, X-Men, the soon to expand Deadpool, and of course, Avatar.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald
- Alien: Covenant (2017) release date: May 19, 2017