We just got confirmation last night that Neill Blomkamp has closed a deal to develop and direct a fifth Alien saga film for 20th Century Fox with Ridley Scott set to produce. There’s been a bit misinformation going around the online film community that the film would somehow be a bridge between Prometheus and the original Alien, not true.
It seems that most of the people “reporting” the news might have zero clue about the different timelines involved with the two films, and that technically Prometheus isn’t even an Alien film. Also, all four Alien films are set after Prometheus 2 because it’s a goddamn prequel.
The Prometheus films aren’t really even Alien movies but set within that cinematic universe as they’re prequels to Alien and set 40 years before the original events on LV426. Aliens is actually set 100 apart from Prometheus and Alien Resurrection is a good 300 years apart from Prometheus, so it’ll be very hard to include an older Sigourney Weaver as Ripley.
It’s basically a lack of knowledge of the franchise that’s missing in a lot of these reports which is spawning a lot of bullshit.
Remember, Sigourney Weaver and Neill developed the new concept together, giving Ripley a chance to reprise her role this makes zero sense it would end-up a Prometheus sequel. His concept art clearly had Ripley in most of the key pieces so the idea is she’d be apart of the film in some way.
The glue between the two films already exists and it’s called Weyland Industries and Weyland-Yutani.
Ridley Scott is still apart of Prometheus 2, Neill’s film is not this project as confirmed by Variety who originally got the confirmation from Fox.
The film has it’s two main leads Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender still under contract to reprise their roles, it also has a completed script from Michael Green. Fox is just waiting on Scott to finish-up on his other sci-fi film The Martian before making official announcements. Prometheus 2 will indeed focus on Shaw and David’s new mission to seek-out the Engineers’ homeworld and get answers. Ridley Scott has also confirmed that xenomorphs have nothing to do with his sequel.
Now that we have that out of way. There are still a lot of unanswered questions concerning what Blomkamp’s film will actual turnout to be but it’s not set in the Prometheus franchise, so let’s forget that was even suggested. Below are a couple of ideas of where the film could actually go in the fifth installment.
Is this going to be the full-on return of Ripley?
Ripley might play a major role in the film along with Hicks. How they get them back together is going to be a huge mystery. We’ve already pointed out a theory previously that could retcon the events of Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection. Weaver did help develop the concept so who knowns what they came-up with.
They could also just move forward into Alien 5 as intended by James Cameron and Ridley Scott back in the early 2000s. The filmmakers made a pitch to 20th Century Fox and it was turned-down to make AVP instead. It’s possible that Blomkamp could take ideas Cameron had for his unmade Alien 3 and Alien 5 films combining them into a new film.
One of the aspects of that Cameron/Scott pitch included Ripley going to a xenomorph planet known as Xenomorph Prime. Some of this was transferring to Prometheus when it was still Alien: Origins but it was quickly removed having instead the Engineers replace the xenos. It’s very possible we might end-up seeing an actual planet swarming with them in this fifth film.
Ridley is a producer on the project and I’m sure will have some creative input as Blomkamp puts the script together. Scott could hint to using elements from the old pitch and even after Prometheus this hasn’t ruled out the possibility of a xeno homeworld still existing.
There is one connection to Prometheus that could come into play and that’s the second derelict Engineer ship on LV223. We know that LV426 was turned into radioactive dust at the end of Aliens, no matter what Aliens: Colonial Marines tried to establish, it’s gone. The assumption being that derelict ship would have been also completely destroyed as well.
If Weyland-Yutani was able to find that second ship it could explain the concept artwork with the company setting-up the ship in one of their facilities and moving-on to bio-weapons experiments.
Could this film be a reboot of sorts?
Yes, and no.
It could very likely bring back the franchise from the brink of death and breath new life into it. I’m unsure if Neill Blomkamp would be willing to move forward without Ripley but it might happen to remove all the problems that exist with the current timelines. Yet, if Fox wants more films beyond the fifth installment they might need to introduce new heroes that could take-up the mantle for Ripley.
I previously pointed-out that a film focusing on Ellen Ripley’s daughter Amanda Ripley (introduced via director’s cut of Aliens) could be a way to refocus the franchise without having to reboot it entirely. There had actually had been talks a while back about making Alien: Origins a reboot and recasting Ripley. I really don’t think that’s needed but if they want a new Ripley they now have Amanda thanks to the recent video game Alien: Isolation. The game takes place between Alien and Aliens with a single unstoppable xenomorph finding it’s way to a space station with Amanda getting involved.
The scene in Aliens when Ripley learns she’d outlived her daughter is one of the more heart-wrenching scenes in the film, and even more shocking it got deleted from the final cut.
In the director’s cut of Alien it’s sort of revealed that xenomorphs don’t need Queens to reproduce and Ripley is forced to kill a cocooned Dallas with her flame thrower, but the scene was eventually cut out of the final cut.
Another angle could be to develop a new protagonist entirely and really allow Blomkamp to give his own spin on the universe. There is a small group of people that aren’t too thrilled with Sigourney Weaver reprising the role. Producers of the franchise have been trying to get rid of her since Alien 3, as they wanted Hicks to be the lead of the film and then wanted the clone of Newt to be the lead of Resurrection.
The impression I have is that Neill will have a lot of creative freedom with the project or he would have never signed-on to make it. He could basically do whatever he wants but the hope remains we’ll see new characters push the franchise forward.
I’m currently obsessed with character concept art from Isolation by Calum Alexander Watt which could easily be models for new characters in Alien 5.
Hopefully we’ll end-up seeing Blomkamp taking cues from this retro future design for the costumes and the look of the worn technology.
Shartlo Copley has been a lead in every single Blomkamp film and it wouldn’t surprise us to see him take a lead role in this project as well. The franchise has always been female focused because of Ripley but if they wanted a new co-lead you couldn’t ask a for a better badass.
It’s still really early for the development on the film and I’m sure Fox/Blomkamp will want to make things a bit more official soon. Not sure if we’ll get the film’s synopsis but I imagine we’ll start hearing Neill talk a bit more about details during the rest of the Chappie press tour.
I’m beyond excited about this news and will be watching Chappie very closely now that he has the gig.