While we’ve been hearing a couple of details of where Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Chappie, Elysium) and 20th Century Fox stand concerning his Alien 5 movie idea. In a new interview with Uproxx, Blomkamp explains what the hold-up is and if in fact the studio is serious about getting the film into production.
The director says he had been developing the film’s concept alongside Sigourney Weaver as the two discussed making the film for the majority of their time together shooting Chappie. One of the key components of getting an Alien film made is having Weaver on-board with the film’s concept and looks like having her involved at it’s early stages might a huge step forward for the project.
Blomkamp went on to confirm that he was developing the film every moment he wasn’t needed for the edit of Chappie, leading us to believe the screenwriter might have also been working out a draft or outline alongside the artwork.
“Speaking to Sigourney Weaver, when we were doing Chappie, she set off a bunch of thoughts in my head — I had come up with an idea that didn’t have Sigourney, it was a different idea. But I spent all of the shooting time with her, it was like, holy shit, that could actually be really interesting. When I came back to Vancouver, I had an entire year to work on Chappie. And when I wasn’t needed in the edit, I could think about Alien. So, I basically developed an entire movie and I did all of this artwork as well.“
He also expands on previous statements, revealing that Fox isn’t the problem getting it made and they would make the film “tomorrow” if they could, sounding like Neill is holding-back a bit and not the studio. However, these new quotes are sounding increasingly positive concerning him actually going through with it.
There’s a high possibility, a high degree of chance that it happens that I go back and try to get Alien made…..I can’t tell you! It might happen! It’s cool though; it’s really cool … I’ll decide soon.
I think one of Neill’s concerns might be jeopardizing his working relationship with Sony Pictures as the studio has distributed all three of his films. It would be the first time working with Fox and moving over to the other studio could put into question if Sony would likely pick-up another original project from Blomkamp.
We know that a feature based on his cyborg short Yellow is among possible projects he could attempt next with some help from Sony, that’s unless Fox decides on financing it. There’s no word if Neill has penned a script for the project but I’m sure concept art exists. The studio is getting into more science-fiction projects and they’d be crazy not make a deal with Blomkamp.
Getting involved with a franchise also isn’t the director’s style as he famously tried to get a Halo movie going with Peter Jackson producing, but ultimately the whole thing fell-apart due to non-filmmakers getting involved with the creative process leading to Blomkamp abandoning it. I’m sure this is also a huge concern of Blomkamp as it’s legendary how terrible Fox and Alien producers have been to directors in the past.
David Fincher‘s nightmare experience shooting Alien 3 is legendary because everyone behind-the-scenes did their best to torpedo the film before it even got in front of the camera. Producers hijacked the script’s writing duties and were scrambling to write scenes moments before they shot. Fincher would eventually disown the film and never had a kind word to say about the project. Easily one of the worst film productions he was even involved with.
I was extremely young at the time of the film’s release but I remember hearing horror stories of the production after it’s home video release, this was also in the era before the internet so it was a big deal to hear this kind of stuff making it to the public.
James Cameron and Ridley Scott also felt the sting of the studio nitwits, both were replaced as directors for the sequels to their respected films as the studio was too impatient and couldn’t be bothered to wait for them to return.
Cameron’s characters were also killed-off in the opening moments of the next film which Blomkamp is hoping to fix by bringing a couple back including Dwayne Hicks. Something that gutted Cameron since he spent so much time developing these strong characters in his film only to be thrown to the side.
The two even came-up with a pitch together for Alien 5 back in the 2000s with Sigourney on-board to reprise the role of Ripley. Fox would instead make the lousy AVP and Cameron would wash-his-hands of the franchise completely. The studio wanted to look beyond Ripley and in the process pretty much put the franchise into shambles.
Rumor was it would place Ripley onto the harsh homeworld of the aliens and explore where they came from. I have to assume a lot of that was thrown into the planet of Pandora for Avatar.
Ridley Scott of course was coaxed into helping develop Alien: Origins which was somewhat inspired by that pitch with Jim Cameron but would be modified not to include Ripley. Originally, planned as a two-part saga (always the plan since it’s conception) the film quickly moved from focusing on the origins of xenomorphs and towards the Space Jockey from the first film.
It was retitled to Prometheus and had newcomer Carl Rinsch (47 Ronin) handpicked by Ridley to direct, the studio unhappy with the choice forced Ridley into directing instead. Putting his own stamp on the mythology by exploring the world of the Engineers which is expected to continue in it’s sequel.
Sigourney Weaver has been vocal since 1999 about playing Ripley again and even made a recent statement over the summer to the LA Times on returning to the role that earned her a Best Actress Oscar nomination in 1987 for Aliens. I wouldn’t be shocked if her conversations with Blomkamp helped give us these more optimistic statements.
“Had we done a fifth one, I don’t doubt that her humanity would have prevailed. …I do feel like there is more story to tell…I feel a longing from fans for the story to be finished,” she said, adding, “I could imagine a situation where we finish telling the story.”
“We were thinking about doing this fifth one, and I didn’t really want to go ahead and do it on Earth,” Weaver revealed. “So we kind of left the sentence unfinished. There’s something slightly unfinished to me about it. I wasn’t too keen to come to Earth. I always feel that science fiction, when it comes to Earth, it’s a little [Weaver mimics yawning]. I wanted to go back to the original planet that the space jockey brought the eggs from and go back into the alien world rather than have the alien arrive in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.”
Fox sort of needs to get this done quickly because there is only so much time Weaver has too keep that energy and look going for the role. As a die-hard Alien saga nerd, I can speak for most of fandom that a majority of us wants this to happen badly. From the comments it seems like Blomkamp is the one that needs the convincing.
You can find him on Twitter @neillblomkamp let him know you want this to happen!