“That’s it, man. Game over, man. Game over! What the *%$! are we gonna do now? What are we gonna do?” — Pvt. Hudson, Aliens
Longtime readers will remember my post from early 2015, in which I discussed plans for an Alien 5 movie by director Neill Blomkamp. With 20th Century Fox agreeing to do it and creator Ridley Scott aboard as a producer, plus Sigourney Weaver’s enthusiasm for the project, things seemed to be moving forward. At Scott’s request, Blomkamp agreed to hold off a bit while his Prometheus sequel, Alien: Covenant, was completed for release in 2017 — Blomkamp’s original target year. Fans (like me) were psyched for the Blomkamp film and willing to wait a little longer… but not much.
“I think it will never see the light. There was never a scenario, just an idea that evolved into a pitch of 10 pages, I had to participate as a producer but it did not go any further because Fox decided that they did not want to do it. I had already done Prometheus and worked on Covenant.”
Sort of makes you wonder how much of Scott’s and Fox’s original support of the film was genuine versus just a way of keeping Blomkamp et al. pacified for awhile. To be fair, though, they probably did want to see how successful Alien: Covenant would be. As I recall, box office receipts were disappointing in the U.S. (as they had been for Prometheus) but pretty good worldwide, such that a third in the “Alien” prequel series is currently scheduled for a 2019 release. However, I do not see why Blomkamp’s project couldn’t be produced concurrently, as soon as Weaver and (hopefully) Michael Biehn are free. Meanwhile, however, Blomkamp recently signed on to direct RoboCop Returns, a sequel to the 2014 RoboCop remake.
Another concern voiced more recently by Scott is the pending merger of Fox with Disney. He is uncertain about whether or not Disney will want to continue the franchise, so his own plans for additional follow-ups could be in danger.
“It looks to me that the Fox deal is certainly going to go ahead with Disney, and I’ve been with Fox for a number [of] years now. I’m hoping I’ll still probably be there, so whether or not they go ahead with such a dark subject, being Disney, as ‘Aliens’ remains to be seen.”
Frankly, if the return on investment is still there, I don’t think he has much to worry about. Besides, Disney doesn’t just do family-friendly, G-rated (or even PG-rated) fare these days.
On another front, there is an interesting rumor now of a possible “Alien” series for the small screen — whether on regular network or streaming service, etc., is one of many unknowns. As per Kofi Outlaw at Comicbook.com,
“Speculation about the show and the limits of its budget is already leaning towards a series about colonists or colonial marines within the Alien universe. The series could indeed feature Xenomorphs from time-to-time, but also open the storyline up to new extraterrestrial threats, or possibly tying the Alien series a little closer to its cousins in the Prometheus saga, with threats like alien viruses or advance races like The Engineers.”
I am of two minds regarding this. I am concerned about a more limited budget and the ability to pull off something that has the look, feel, and intensity of an “Alien” movie. On the other hand, there are probably a lot of stories that could take place in the “Alien” movie universe and would benefit from a longer story arc. I like the ideas mentioned above, so if Fox is indeed thinking along these lines, then I am tentatively behind the project. You?