You might remember Ridley Scott and Fox took a lot of heat from fans of the Alien franchise, when they decided to remove the Xenomorphs from the Prometheus script and using these altered versions via the Engineers’ black goo. They had originally planned on including them in the Alien: Origins original script from Jon Spaihts, but Damon Lindelof was brought-in to rewrite all of that out.
Ridley seemingly was sticking to his guns, months ago revealing that he was working on another type of alien monster and xenos would indeed be left out again.
Fast-foward to now, and Neill Blomkamp’s (District 9, Chappie, Elysium) Alien 5 got a go-ahead for official script development with Sigourney Weaver attached to return to play Ripley, with Michael Biehn revealing that Hicks and Newt (likely a recast) would be apart of it as well, with Newt potentially taking the torch from Ripley. Hicks and Ripley were featured in the concept art posted on social media by Neill, and Weaver revealed she was involved in the early development.
The project was officially placed on hold, while Ridley and the team figured-out what Prometheus 2/Alien: Paradise Lost/Alien: Covenant will end-up looking like. It’s starting to look like Neill’s ideas might have been absorbed into Ridley’s film, as we learned early on that a second human ship would be in the film. The official synopsis revealed that it would focus on the titular colony ship The Covenant.
This ship could lead to experiments taking place, which was seen in concept art from Neill’s Alien 5 with Weyland getting ahold of the xenomorphs and engineer technology. It still looks like Alien 5 will happen, but the other two Prometheus sequels need to be mapped-out first.
In a new interview with The Wrap, Scott has finally come out and stated that the xenomorphs will indeed be apart of his next wave of sequels, possibly being in all three of the purposed Prometheus sequels. Basically, it’s starting to sound like they heard fan’s concerns and are trying their best to rework the film to bring back the beloved alien threat. Alien 5 was looking like the more interesting of the two projects, and was likely overshadowing their development on Alien: Covenant.
“Yeah. Well, really it’s “Alien.” They’re going to go to the planet where the engineers came from, and come across the evolving creature that they had made. Why did they make it? Why would they make such a terrifying beast? It felt bio-mechanoid, it felt like a weapon. And so the movie will explain that, and reintroduce the alien back into it.
There was always this discussion: Is Alien, the character, the beast, played out or not? We’ll have them all: egg, face-hugger, chest-burster, then the big boy. I think maybe we can go another round or two.”
They are looking to place a new actress into the leading role for the franchise, as Noomi Rapace’s Shaw will be relegated to a minor role in the film and likely won’t be the face of it anymore.
Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, Girl on A Train) has been linked for this new badass role, while Cate Blanchett (Hobbit, Lord of The Rings) being apart of the cast was teased by Scott himself, as production will take place in Australia and he mentioned the potential of hiring a bunch of local actors. He talked about her in the context of reuniting after working together on Robin Hood, but never mentioned an actual role.
Production is expected to begin this March or April.
You might be shocked to learn at one point Alien 5 and Prometheus were actually going to be the same film. After Alien: Resurrection‘s release. There had been plans on developing a fifth film, with screenwriter Joss Whedon (yup, he wrote Alien: Resurrection) returning to pen the next film. This is when James Cameron and Ridley Scott had panned on returning with their own take, but with Cameron working with Whedon on the script, Scott was expected to direct, with Weaver back as Ripley.
The idea was to complete the saga with going to the xenomorph planet, and potentially exploring the origins of space jockey, which is now called an engineer.
At the time Fox was itching to develop an adaptation of the popular Darkhose Comics books Alien vs. Predator, which had been developed into a couple of successful video games at this point. The director of Predator 2 had been a huge fan of the comic books, and was the one that included the xenomorph skull on the ship in the final sequences of the film. The studio ended-up going with their Alien/Predator mash-up seeing it was a hot merchandising venture leading to it’s PG-13 rating, which ticked-off James Cameron who swore-off to never work on the franchise again. Fox had previously burned him when they didn’t wait for his return to make this third Alien film, while he was busy making Terminator 2: Judgement Day. He became furious after the studio and producers went and killed-off Newt and Hicks in the opening sequence, basically erasing all the work Cameron did developing those characters in Aliens. AVP was a tacky monster movie crossover and the last straw for Cameron, seeing it as tarnishing the brand that was carefully designed by artists like Ridley and himself.
There is talk that the studio actually killed Hicks because actor Michael Biehn had turned down leading the film due to a strong loyalty to Cameron. There had been a version of an Alien 3 script where Hicks not Ripley was the returning hero. Having to go back to Ripley become very costly as Sigourney Weaver rightly asked for a huge payout to reprise the role. Killing him off felt like more of a dig from producers, who were furious that they had to give into Weaver’s contract demands. The same producers ended-up having to write the script on set, while driving first-time feature director David Fincher to the brink of collapse with the high pressured shooting schedule and the studio messing with him on daily basis.
Ridley still kept talking to Fox about ideas for the franchise which became his prequel Alien: Origins, which was always planned as a two-part film that would eventually connect to the original Alien film, in some sort of way. Scott was only meant to produce the project, but when Fox rejected Ridley’s directing choice, he was forced to step-in, and we got Prometheus.
As it stands now, Ridley is seemingly committed to making two more prequels after Alien: Covenant, and has indeed proclaimed they will connect to the original Alien at some point. Considering that Blomkamp’s Alien 5 would need some canonical restructuring to make it fit into what Alien 3 and Resurrection did, giving Neill a bunch of time to figure things out isn’t a terrible thing.
However, we did love that Blomkamp attempted to modernize the Pulse Rifle before the project was put on ice, and he’s now in talks for another sci-fi project The Gone World at Fox, while he’s waiting for the studio to green light Alien 5.
SOURCE: THE WRAP