During the 30th anniversary of Aliens many people from the film talked about the future of the franchise, last we heard it was from James Cameron talking about Neill Blomkamp‘s “very strong” script for Alien 5 and Sigourney Weaver revealing her commitments to the Avatar sequels had further delayed the film.
Now, actor Michael Biehn talks to Forbes about the state of the Alien franchise and how he originally talked to director Neill Blomkamp about a role in the film Chappie. Along with his return as Hicks and teases an actress for the recasting of Newt.
The character’s return was confirmed by Blomkamp last April.
Do you want to long version of the short version? When you think about Aliens, that final third part of the movie is about Sigourney’s character, Ripley, saving Newt and my character, Hicks, helping her. To have Newt and I gone when the third one started, I think, immediately turned off a lot of fans from the franchise. To me, it didn’t work and neither did the fourth film or Alien vs Predator movies so I thought the franchise was dead. I got a call a few years ago from Neill Blomkamp and my agent say he wants to put me in his new movie, he was interested in me playing the antagonist and could I film myself doing a scene for him – it didn’t feel like an audition. I thought I did a pretty good job but I got a call from my agent saying I didn’t get the part and I was surprised because I thought he wanted me to be in it. I was disappointed, I’ve been disappointed before when I didn’t get a part and with things like Avatar and the third Alien movie, but the next thing I hear is that Sigourney Weaver is doing the movie. I looked it up on IMDB and she was doing the part that I guess I was auditioning for! I was like, ‘Sigourney, you’re killing me!’.
Then he talked about Alien 5 and hinted that whoever plays Newt might likely takeover the franchise, as we’ve heard before mentioning that his older version of Newt looks a lot like Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence.
Well, she’s doing the movie, Chappie, and he pitches her an idea for another movie in the Alien franchise, which I thought was dead and gone as she probably did too as well as Fox. He tweeted out some pictures of me, he said he’s going take the third and fourth film and act like they never happened and things blew up. It looked like it was all go and then Ridley Scott decided that he was going to do a second and third film in the Prometheus series, but Sigourney says they are still doing their project. I think it would be very embarrassing to Fox if they don’t give Sigourney the movie that she really wants to go out on.
I don’t know when it’s going to happen but I know it’s going to happen and I know I’m going to be in it and there’s going to be a new Newt, she’s going to be about 26 or 27 and looks a lot like Jennifer Lawrence to me but I don’t know. Maybe there’ll be a passing of whatever and then the franchise can move on so they can make more money because that’s what it’s all about.
Biehn doubling-down on previous talk that Newt would potentially take the reigns from Ripley, as Blomkamp had teased making even more than just the final send-off to Weaver. This leading us to believe Alien 6 and so on are more than likely on the table at Fox, as Alien: Resurrection had originally been developed as vehicle to transfer a cloned Newt as the new face of the franchise.
The part about Jennifer Lawrence isn’t too shocking either, we had heard if the role was cast Fox was aiming for a big name. Jennifer proving with the Hunger Games she can be a draw while leading a franchise and with that string of films along with X-Men and Sony’s Passengers (opposite Chris Pratt) isn’t a stranger to making big science fiction projects. Plus, her Oscar win and awards background would obviously help sway nervous fans that someone might be talking over for Sigourney.
Jennifer has expressed an interest having Fox develop her own Mystique solo film, but maybe giving her the keys to the main Alien franchise might be more appealing and require less time in the makeup chair. Having an existing relationship with the studio from X-Men helps the chances of this actually coming together, in theory.
It should be noted that breakout character Jaylah (aka J.Law) played by Sofia Boutella from Star Trek Beyond was directly inspired by Lawrence’s Oscar nominated performance in Winter’s Bone, as revealed by co-writer Simon Pegg.
Having Aliens director James Cameron (openly dislikes Alien 3 and AVP) recently giving praise to Blomkamp’s script and even the idea the studio could talk Lawrence into taking the Newt role, sounds like the steps towards actually getting this project made.
Would you like to see Jennifer Lawrence playing a grown-up version of Newt?