Fox is getting their shit together when it comes to their sci-fi franchises and you only have to look at last summer’s Dawn of The Planet of The Apes to see how the studio could be treating future properties.
The key factor is having a visionary director that can also help shape the script and the film’s entire look/tone. Matt Reeves sort of took a James Cameron approach to the sequel and really made it his own thing, making it superior to Rise of The Planet of The Apes. Mainly, because he didn’t mess around with casting and wanted a certain tone that’s been lacking since the classic Apes film.
Fox has a chance to do the same thing with both Alien 5 and Predator 4 as they have really excellent creative people currently developing those films. Beyond hiring amazing visionaries here are couple of things fans and myself have wanted to see in the films for ages along with stuff that was scrapped from previous projects.
In part one I’m going to cover what Neill Blomkamp‘s Alien 5 could look like and how it might include aspects fans have been begging to see for ages.
Neill Blomkamp recently revealed he had been developing a fifth Alien film during the editing of Chappie, which started bouncing-off ideas with actress Sigourney Weaver on the set. We still don’t know how far development got beyond the artwork and Blomkamp is still on the fence about directing it. While we know both Fox and Weaver are very interested in the prospect of the project.
When it comes to the Alien franchise the studio tried their best to exhaust their options in terms of where to go. However, there are a couple of ways to do this without entirely rehashing stuff we’ve already seen. Blomkamp then posted a bunch of concept artwork which seemingly homages James Cameron’s unmade third film.
Blomkamp’s concept art establishes that Dwayne Hicks is back from the dead. This might seem a bit silly but there are two things to consider before removing that idea from ever happening.
One being that we never see Hick’s face in either cuts of Alien 3, so it’s not definitive that is actually Dwayne’s corpse. I went back and watched both cuts, his face is so mangled in the director’s cut it could have been anyone and nobody. Ripley gets pretty damn emotional about both Newt and even Bishop but oddly doesn’t even bother saying goodbye to Dwayne in the morgue scene which further questions if it’s actually Hicks.
If it’s not Hicks who could it be?
Secondly, I know what this might sound like but in the video game Aliens: Colonial Marines they explore the what-if someone else was put into the cryotube instead. In the game Hicks is woken-up as a playable character in the game and discovers Weyland has found the derelict ship. During this mission one of the colonists gets knocked-out by Weyland forces and thrown into Hicks’ cyrotube. Something happens that sets-off the lifeboat alarm and all three cyrotubes are put onto a lifeboat sent off the Sulaco.
The only way to bring Hicks back would be to essentially remove Alien Resurrection from canon as the film is set 200 years after the events of Alien 3.
How would Ripley survive the events of Alien 3 without the aid of cloning?
It’s possible that the shot originally given to Ripley by Clemens has in-fact put her into a medically induced coma until the rescue team arrives. Having the events of the film turning out to be a hyper-realistic nightmare until and she doesn’t really have an alien inside her. Since we’ve established that Clemens is a terrible doctor it’s possible the coma lasts for years and the company of course wants to keep her alive for information.
Another angle could be that she turns out to be amnesic from the crash and isn’t able to recall to the Weyland team the events at Hadley’s Hope. This could allow Ripley to go freely back into society after close observations by the company and reinstated as a commercial pilot for decades until she’s located by Hicks.
Putting the timelines closer together by a couple of decades rather than hundreds of years. Allowing the possibility if Hicks managed to get away alive he could still be kicking-around somewhere in the universe and has been actively looking for her while avoiding Weyland-Yutani. Having him run some sort of insurgency against the company with the help of rivals wouldn’t be hard to imagine. I doubt he’d be able to walk back into the life of a marine.
Plenty of different ways to go, they could also remove Alien 3 from the canon as well. Giving them a lot more leeway concerning where the story could go and explaining what happened to them after the events of Aliens. The studio obviously understand fans haven’t been happy with a majority of what they’ve been giving them since the early 90’s and are desperate to get the franchise working again.
Another aspect which was teased in the artwork posted by Blomkamp is Weyland-Yutani finally getting their hands on the derelict ship. I’m sure finding the one on LV223 via Prometheus wouldn’t be entirely hard to swallow since purists would point-out it’s very likely the one on LV426 is gonzo from the nuclear blast in Aliens.
Lance Henriksen has been the face of Weyland for ages now, it would be nice to see Guy Pearce takeover that role after playing Peter Weyland in Prometheus. It wouldn’t be hard to imagine that his ancestors would have a resemblance to him. Lance has played multiple generations of Weyland starting with Michael Bishop Weyland in Alien 3. Guy Pearce has been vocal about reprising the role in a Prometheus sequel but having him play Weylands in multiple films could be something worth considering. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Neill cast Sharlto Copley as a Weyland or a villain.
The xenomorph homeworld or at the very least a planet where it’s been completely overrun by different hives of xenomorphs. This could lead to one of the coolest elements from the mythology that’s never been seen in the films, clashes between different broods of aliens red versus black, or multiple different kinds of aliens essentially warring with each other for dominance on this planet or sector of a planet.
If they use the clone Ripley it’s possible she may be able to track down where other xenos are in the universe. Some theories suggest that the xenomorphs share one hive mind which is passed-down to each generation, this could explain their heightened intellect and their abilities to swarm as one group. The clone Ripley might have these abilities passed down from her genetic mixture of human and xeno DNA from the cloning process.
It sounds a bit more inline to what James Cameron had in mind when he originally was developing Alien 5 with Ridley Scott. There had been extensive talk that Cameron wanted Ripley to discover a xeno planet.
Ridley Scott has confirmed stuff like this won’t be used for Prometheus 2 as the xenomorphs won’t be apart of the new film. Fox might as well try to combine it somewhere into the Alien saga instead as it’s one of the more interesting things about the aliens yet to be explored.
Neill hasn’t revealed much about his project but from the concept artwork it looked like mostly third or second act stuff. I’m kind of hoping there’s a bit more to it than just taking down Weyland and we do get to see the many different kinds of aliens. The one redeeming thing from David Fincher’s Alien 3 was the Bambi-burster giving us a completely new type of alien. Weyland experimenting on the xenos could lead to hybrids while using different animals or other aliens as hosts.
This is where the red and black aliens could come into play either securing both hives for the Weyland experiments or genetically trying to have them kill each other. For a bio-weapon they’d likely need to be able to kill competing xenos, or a breed of xenos specifically modified to only to kill other aliens.
I’m also curious what would it look like if Weyland was able to harness the xenomorphs as a weapon and what happens when they are used in the field?
There’s a piece of concept art with Ripley in some sort of xeno suit, maybe this becomes a new type of military technology that’s used for the battlefield. Perhaps, it’s used to control xenos or just help blend-in among them.
Neill could expand upon the mythology and also make it his own at the same time. I’m sure once he officially signs-on we’ll hear more details about the story and direction it will take.
The biggest mistakes from the latter films including the huge messes that were the two AVP installments was the reliance on digital effects when people in well crafted suits just look better on screen. While I think think Blomkamp has successfully figured-out how to do convincing motion-capture effects I’d still love to see him using xenomorphs in camera and possibly bring back the giant Queen puppet.
You can see that was likely Neill’s aim as he posted this image of a practical xenomorph head along with that original concept art.
Blomkamp has a strong relationship with Weta, who gave us the most convincing motion capture performances with Dawn of The Planet of the Apes could do the same for Alien 5 but I’d still like to see some real stuff mixed in there to give a sense of substance to these creatures.
I have to assume that Blomkamp has much more in mind for the film that he’s sharing but if he uses any of these extra ideas it could help beef-up whatever he wants to do.
What would you like to see in a fifth Alien movie?
The second part will be focusing on Fox’s new Predator film and will be posted shortly as it became way too long to include into a single post.