Did you know that 20th Century Fox was working on a fifth installment of the Alien franchise? Nope, I don’t mean a sequel to Prometheus or another Aliens Vs. Predator, a mean a proper Alien 5, with Sigourney Weaver returning as Ellen Ripley, presumably fighting off xenomorphs again. Well, it seems that neither did they, but as recently as March of last year, director Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium) was working on a new Alien film, possibly to pitch to the studio, as he just posted a ton of concept art for the movie via his Instagram account.
There are interesting ideas in these images, like Ripley wearing some kind of xenomorph style helmet, the derelict ship from Ridley Scott’s original film being dissected in some kind of hangar bay, and Hicks, Michael Biehn’s character from Aliens, alive and well. Does this mean Blomkamp’s proposed movie was looking to just ignore Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection? Considering both of those films’ reputations with fans, I doubt if many folks would mind if both of those films end up just being nightmares Ripley had while in cryo-sleep.
So what makes anyone think this Alien film will turn out any better than the last two? Well, for a few years Fox had a bad reputation of being a micro-managing studio, one that simply didn’t know how to handle their biggest franchises properly. It was during this era that we got the last two lackluster Alien films, Tim Burton’s lame attempt at a Planet of the Apes reboot, and X-Men: The Last Stand/X-Men:Origins Wolverine.
However, due to regime changes at the studio over the last few years, Fox has made a pretty big turnaround. X-Men: First Class and Rise of the Planet of the Apes were terrific films that gave those two franchise a creative shot in the arm, which resulted in last year’s equally excellent X-Men: Days of Future Past and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Can Fox do the same creative turnaround with the Alien series? Outside of the X-Men and Apes movies, the Alien films are among Fox’ most well known and profitable sci-fi franchises. It’s not an IP they’re going to let lay dormant forever, and there are worse choices to give it a proper revival than Neill Blomkamp.
On his Instagram, Blomkamp said, “Was working on this. Don’t think I am anymore. Love it though.” This unfortunately suggests he’s moved on from the project. If I were Fox though, I’d reconsider whatever pitch he had right about now. Those concept pics look pretty cool.