James Cameron appears to be hinting at a return to the Alien franchise. Following the success of The Terminator in 1984, Cameron was quickly signed by Fox to write and direct Aliens. The filmmaker changed up the haunted house formula of the original and turned Aliens into an action movie. The movie made Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley a sci-fi icon and thanks to a combination of a great script, cast and setpieces, the film is considered by some to be the best entry in the entire series.
Early plans by producers involved ending the franchise with a two-part project, with hopes Ridley Scott would return for Alien III - based on a script by author William Gibson - and Cameron would make Alien IV, which would have gone to the Alien homeworld. Cameron wasn’t interested, however, and focused on his next movie The Abyss instead. The director revealed he had planned to write an Alien prequel with Scott directing in the early 2000s, only for both men to walk away when the studio turned its focus to Alien Vs Predator.
Cameron hasn’t expressed much of an urge to return to the Alien series, but that could be about to change. During an IGN (via Bloody Disgusting) red carpet interview for Alita: Battle Angel - which he co-wrote and produced - Cameron was asked a question about calling Neill Blomkamp about his rejected Alien 5 concept. His response was a succinct: "I’m working on that, yeah."
That’s not much to go on, and it could literally just mean it’s something he’s thought about. Blomkamp’s Alien 5 pitch would have reunited Ripley, Newt and Hicks and seemingly retconned the controversial events of Alien 3 out of existence. Blomkamp has revealed a myriad of concept art for the project, but despite getting a green light to develop the idea, it was later canned in favor of Scott’s Alien prequels. Blomkamp has since insisted the project is dead and has moved on to legacy sequel RoboCop Returns.
Cameron is currently working with Weaver on the Avatar sequels and she has confirmed the director thought Blomkamp’s Alien 5 was a great idea. Cameron will have his hands full until at least 2025 with the Avatar series, so he’s unlikely to direct a new Alien movie. That said, he’s become a prolific producer, having worked with Robert Rodriguez on Alita and Tim Miller on Terminator 6. It’s possible the studio might want Cameron to act in a similar capacity for Blomkamp on Alien 5, and his return would do a lot to ease fan concerns following the reception to Scott’s Alien: Covenant.
Legacy sequels are also hugely popular right now, and Weaver’s return as Ripley would be a huge deal. That’s hopeful thinking for now since nothing is confirmed. It was recently revealed that alternate endings for The Predator featured the return of Ripley - played by a stuntwoman - as a teaser for the next movie and another revealed a grown-up version of Newt. This alone seems to indicate serious thought is being given to a new Alien movie, though the studio opted (wisely) not to include them in The Predator.
Source: IGN (via Bloody Disgusting)