The Alien franchise is alive and well. Next weekend at Comic-Con 2016, Aliens director James Cameron and much of his cast, including Sigourney Weaver and Michael Bien, will reunite for a 30th anniversary discussion about his iconic sequel on the main Hall H stage, and Weaver herself is rearing and ready to go with a new Ripley story. Director Neill Blomkamp was spurred to pitch his own idea for a new Alien sequel while working with Weaver on Chappie last year, and the project gained some serious traction after Blomkamp posted concept art for the proposed follow-up online to great fanfare.
20th Century Fox officially began developing his Alien sequel shortly thereafter, but just as things were picking up steam, Ridley Scott seeming pulled the reigns in as he wanted to ensure that his own Alien movie, the Prometheus follow-up Alien: Covenant, wasn’t overshadowed and would be allowed to go into production first, which then put an indefinite hold on Blomkamp’s plans. So what’s up with Alien 5? Well Weaver is still eager to do it, and she recently revealed to EW that the story Blomkamp has cooked up will mark a conclusion of sorts for Ripley:
“It’s a great story and it’s satisfying to me to give this woman an ending… The script itself has so much in it that’s so original, but also really satisfies the, I would say, the primal needs of the aliens. It’s a tribute to all of the great work that the other directors have done, in a way, but goes in a completely new direction. I hope we’ll do it.”
Weaver revealed a few weeks ago that, just as the concept art featuring Newt and Hicks suggests, Blomkamp’s movie would be a direct sequel to Aliens and would ignore the events of Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection. However, while this project was seemingly on the fast track to begin shooting last year before Fox opted to hit “pause”, the busy schedules of Weaver and Blomkamp mean it won’t be coming to fruition too soon:
“Fox asked us to delay so Ridley could shoot his [second] Prometheus movie. That was too bad because we would have already done it by now. Now that we’re waiting for that, I have a couple of Avatars to do and Neill has The Gone World, so we’ll have to see what happens when we get back, when those projects are over.”
Indeed, Blomkamp became attached to an adaptation of the Thomas Sweterlitsch sci-fi novel The Gone World in the wake of his Alien movie being delayed, and it’s unclear when that plans to shoot. Regardless, he was certainly eager to make the Alien film (especially in the wake of the disaster that was Chappie) and Weaver seems incredibly game, so this could still happen—assuming it doesn’t further encroach on Ridley Scott’s plans.
Perhaps we’ll learn more at the Aliens Comic-Con panel next Saturday, so look for our full rundown of that event shortly after it concludes. For now, I’m curious, which Alien franchise has you guys most excited? Scott’s proposed Prometheus follow-ups or the prospect of a Superman Returns-esque Alien film from Blomkamp and Weaver that seeks to course-correct the franchise? Sound off in the comments below.