I don't know if this is just rumour, but according to sources close to the director, Paul W. S. Anderson (Alien vs. Predator", "Resident Evil) is slated to write the fifth movie in the Alien franchise. I say "fifth" because I really don't consider AVP as part of the franchise... I consider that more of an "alternate reality" storyline (to put it as politely as possible).
The word is that Anderson has been asked by Twentieth Century Fox to write a script that fits in with the previously established Alien story. It is unclear whether it will include the Ellen Ripley character (Sigourney Weaver), but I have read elsewhere that she would come back for the right script.
Anderson is not slated to direct at this time.
The phrase that comes to mind when thinking of Twentieth Century Fox' handling of this franchise is "stupid is as stupid does". This falls squarely in the "What are they thinking?" category. Take away the fact that Alien vs. Predator really annoyed fans of the Alien series, or that the movie was almost universally panned by critics, and you're still left with the fact that "AVP" was not a roaring box office success once production and marketing costs are subtracted. Combine domestic and overseas box office and the movie only cleared about $10 million based on an investment of approximately $95 million.
I'm here to tell you that is not the rate of return studios want to see on their investments. Based on that alone you think they'd avoid Anderson by a wide margin.
The really frustrating thing about this is that as recently as 7 months ago, Ridley Scott (director of the first Alien film) was quoted as saying that things were progressing with the film, with him being involved in developing the story. Last year there were rumblings that James Cameron was definitely interested in doing the film.
How did we go from James Cameron and Ridley Scott to Paul Anderson?!?
Source: Dark Horizons