It appears that Ridley Scott will be the only filmmaker making Alien movies for the foreseeable future. When Scott signed on to helm Prometheus, it not only marked a return to the franchise that birthed his career, but also his first sci-fi film since Blade Runner. Even as Prometheus was being released, Scott was talking up planned sequels, but the filmmaker got busy/distracted with a variety of other films ranging from The Counselor to The Martian to the disaster we all conveniently forgot, Exodus: Gods and Kings. So while Scott was busy working on other things, another filmmaker hopped in with his own ideas for the franchise: Neil Blomkamp.
Indeed, as Chappie was just about to hit theaters, Blomkamp shared some artwork he made for a proposed Alien 5 that would bring Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley and Michael Biehn’s Hicks back into the fold, essentially serving as a direct sequel to Aliens. 20th Century Fox made it official, put the film into development, and set Scott to produce. However, it always felt like Scott was more than a little perturbed at this notion, and once this Alien 5 went into development Scott put the Prometheus sequel into high gear, ensuring Alien: Covenant would be going into production before Blomkamp’s film.
“There was never a screenplay, just an idea that evolved into a pitch of 10 pages…I was always just a producer, but it didn’t go any further because Fox decided that it didn’t want to do it.”
You can almost feel the shade coming off that quote. For what it’s worth, Weaver had nothing but praise for Blomkamp’s Alien 5 idea (she worked with the filmmaker on Chappie), but in the end it makes sense that Fox would rather side with Scott and effectively kill the project. Unless the two films were interconnected somehow, it’d be confusing for audiences to be watching two Alien sequel/reboot franchises going separate paths at the same time.
But not to fear, the Alien franchise is alive and well and will continue to be for a long time to come if Scott has his druthers. He now says he has three more sequels planned that will eventually connect back to Alien, so it’ll be interesting to see if Scott himself directs all of them or if another filmmaker is eventually given a go. We know he’s not doing a Covenant sequel next, as he’s already firmed up the crime thriller All the Money in the World as his next film.
As for Blomkamp, he hasn’t quite firmed up his next project yet, but one imagines he was pulling for Alien 5 to help him recover from the disappointing reception of Chappie.