With numerous Alien movies and TV shows being proposed, let's break down the future of the franchise. The Alien saga was left in bad shape following 2008's Alien Vs Predator: Requiem. While that entry performed decently at the box-office, it earned series worst reviews for both the Alien and Predator franchises, and it reduced the Xenomorph to mere canon fodder. Things started to look up considerably when Ridley Scott boarded an Alien prequel in 2009, with the original Alien: Engineers story set to explore the backstory of the mysterious Space Jockey creature and his derelict ship.
The project morphed from a straight prequel to more of a spinoff during development, with Scott personally feeling the alien had been overexposed by too many sequels. Prometheus was one of the most highly anticipated sci-fi films in recent memory, but while it performed very well financially, the film’s mix of high-brow sci-fi and low-brow B-movie tropes disappointed fans. Prometheus ended on a cliffhanger that saw scientist Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and sociopath android David (Michael Fassbender) take off in search of the Engineers, but while a Prometheus trilogy was proposed, the sequel would once again morph into something else during development.
Despite Scott’s aversion to including the Xenomorph, the studio insisted Alien: Covenant include the beast and all the tropes that come with it. The resulting movie tried to act as both a Prometheus and Alien sequel, which proved to be an uneasy stew. Despite featuring tense set pieces and not one, but two, great performances from Fassbender as David and Walter, Alien: Covenant proved to be another letdown to audiences. Although it underperformed financially and attracted mixed reviews, Alien: Covenant was still a success for the franchise. While Scott had plans for two more Alien prequels, the series has stalled out. However, it's not dead yet.
- This Page: Fox's Alien Prequels & Sequels Are Dead
- Page 2: Two Alien TV Shows & What's Next For The Franchise
Ridley Scott's Alien Prequels Aren't Happening Anymore
Alien: Covenant ended on a staggeringly bleak note, with David taking control of the titular ship and its sleeping cargo, with plans to continue his inhuman experiments. Ridley Scott’s pitch for the next movie, dubbed Alien: Awakening, would have found David creating his perfect society free of humanity on a new planet. Katherine Waterston’s character Daniels was set to return, as were the Engineers to seek revenge on the rogue android, but the lack of movement on another Alien prequel since Covenant’s release suggests the project is dead. Scott has stated his ambition to push the Xenomorph's story and origin out of his own series and make it about A.I. instead, with David being the new alien of the franchise's title. Given the overall critical and fan response to Alien: Covenant, it’s clear this wasn’t a popular idea.
It’s highly doubtful 20th Century Fox would approve of this angle either, given how iconic the monster is. The original endpoint for Scott’s saga would have brought the series back to the original Alien, explaining how the derelict ended up on LV-426, and possibly revealing David himself was the Space Jockey, but even one more entry to tie up this storyline looks doubtful. There’s also the Disney/Fox deal to consider, with the Mouse House likely to focus on family-friendly fare over Fox’s R-rated properties. That said, Disney CEO Bob Iger has stated more than once Disney is open to more R-rated Deadpool movies as well as continuing other franchises, so a new Alien movie isn't completely out of the question.
Neill Blomkamp's Alien 5 Was Canceled
Director Neill Blomkamp is a lifelong fan of the Alien series, and after revealing some artwork for a proposed fifth movie online, Fox gave his project a green light for development. The storyline for Blomkamp’s Alien 5 was never revealed, but it would have featured the return of Ellen Ripley, Hicks, and Newt, with the events of Alien 3 retconned out of existence. It appeared the plan was for Alien 5 and Scott’s Alien prequels to be developed side-by-side, but Blomkamp’s movie was eventually canceled in favor of the prequels. Scott later claimed Alien 5 never had a script and Blomkamp has stated he’s moved on from the project.
Sigourney Weaver loved Blomkamp’s idea for an alternate Alien 3, however, and so did James Cameron. In fact, a recent quote from Cameron suggests he’s trying to convince Blomkamp to resurrect Alien 5, where he’d act as producer. Cameron will be busy the next few years directing Avatar 2 to 5, but he’s also acting as producer on projects like Alita: Battle Angel and Tim Miller’s Terminator 6. Given fan disappointment in Alien: Covenant, there would be a lot of goodwill towards a legacy sequel that retconned the controversial decisions of Alien 3 while bringing back Weaver and Cameron. Blomkamp is currently busy on another legacy sequel, RoboCop Returns, so time will tell if his take on Alien 5 moves forward.