Filmmaker Neill Blomkamp surprised the Internet back around the beginning of this year, when he suddenly dropped conceptual artwork that appeared to be for a new Alien movie featuring Sigourney Weaver back as Ellen Ripley. The writer/director clarified that the project is question was not, in fact, sanctioned by 20th Century Fox (the studio behind the Alien franchise) and that it was a "mental stroll" through that iconic sci-fi world. A "creative exercise," in other words.
The response to Blomkamp's Alien film artwork was pretty overwhelmingly positive, leading many film buffs to speculate (or, rather, to hope) that his imagined movie could one day become a real thing - with some going so far as to argue that this was just the first step in Blomkamp's plan to make that happen. Well, the truth of his motivation aside, Blomkamp says the project has gotten attention from Fox... and that he's still, in fact, interested in realizing his vision on the big screen one day.
Blomkamp, back in the late 2000s, made plans to adapt the Halo video game franchise to the big screen that he ended up having to abandon, before he made his name with the original sci-fi features District 9 and Elysium. The filmmaker's next original sci-fi offering, the Pinnochio-esque robot sci-fi/adventure Chappie, opens in theaters next month; and when Colldier asked Blomkamp about his Alien project, the latter provide the following status update:
“There was a reason. I wanted to make that film. I still may make that film. [Laughs] It may happen. But I did it on my own time. Like when Chappie was winding down in post and I had available time, I started to work on it. It was also from talking to Sigourney [Weaver] during the making of this. I mean, I asked her about Alien all the time. Alien and Aliens are my favorite films. So I genuinely wanted to make that film, I came up with the story, I came up with way more art than I put out and I never officially spoke to Fox about it, but Fox wanted to make it. So, I kind of touched on it and I didn’t know what to do, and I didn’t know if I was just gonna go leave directing for a whole bunch of time and then I was like, ‘I might as well put some art out.’ But I may make it. I don’t know. That’s where it stands.”
Weaver, who (as Blomkamp mentioned to Collider) costars in Chappie, has indicated in the recent past that she would be interested in making another Alien movie - since the last installment, Alien: Resurrection in 1997, left the Ripley character's story in something of an unfinished state (after her tale had seemingly come to an end five years earlier in Alien 3). In other words, it seems that not just the executives over at Fox, but also the original Alien's star want to see the franchise continue on - maybe even with Blomkamp putting his own spin on the property.
Ridley Scott, director of the original Alien film, made a prequel/spinoff to his 1979 sci-fi/horror classic in 2012 with Prometheus, and a sequel to that tentpole has been in development since However, there's no reason Prometheus 2 and a Blomkamp Alien movie cannot co-exist in peace; indeed, Fox executives might even welcome that, as a way to keep the "Shared Alien Cinematic Universe" expanding in multiple directions.
... And to be frank, after the divisive response to Prometheus, many Alien fans might be more interested in seeing Blomkamp's take on the Alien property than another Prometheus film directed by Scott, anyway. As mentioned before, though, no reason we can't have both, though...
Having said that, most fans have mixed feelings about the results that've come from different filmmakers offering their own take on the Alien franchise in the past; Scott's original take and James Cameron's Aliens are generally loved, while Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Resurrection is generally unpopular (and David Fincher's Alien 3 seemed to suffer from excessive studio interference). But, as mentioned before, Blomkamp's ideas have already gotten many fans interested in seeing him get his shot with this IP.
Chappie opens in U.S. theaters on March 6th, 2015. We'll bring you more information on a potential Neill Blomkamp Alien movie when/if it arrives.
"Alien" artwork by DanLuVisiArt @ DeviartArt