“Maybe we can build a fire, sing a couple of songs.” It’s crazy the power of Star Wars. Luke, Han, Leia, Vader and the Ewok clan are indirectly responsible for pulling the rug out from under Neill Blomkamp’s Alien 5 project, which would have allowed Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley to get closure.
The madness started when Weaver, star of the first four Alien films, starred in Blomkamp’s Chappie. The director’s main inspiration for all of his films – including District 9 and Elysium – was James Cameron’s Aliens, the action-packed sequel to Ridley Scott’s Alien. Landing Weaver in Chappie was a dream for Blomkamp, which led to a friendship, and eventually collaboration. Blomkamp begun leaking concepts for his Alien 5, and eventually Twentieth Century Fox caved in, allowing him to develop the next Alien film that was said to end Ripley’s story and begin a Newt one.
After a year in development, and a completed screenplay turned in, things went a bit quiet. It could have been because of Chappie‘ box office miss, leaving Fox in the weird place of having already announced the film and getting cold feet immediately after. Or… Scott, who returned to the franchise with Prometheus, has long been developing a sequel to that was more of a spinoff/sister film than an actual prequel. While it would eventually bridge into Alien, it was its own entity. That is until Star Wars and other “universes” took over Hollywood.
Back in November of 2015, Scott spewed a monologue out about how he was frustrated with the Alien sequels, revealing that the real reason we’re getting a brand new trilogy is because of Star Wars. “Star Wars will be a juggernaut. Why do you think I’m doing sequels,” Scott quipped.
Before he explained why, Scott had previously changed the title to his Prometheus sequel multiple times, all of which included the Alien moniker. He had abandoned Prometheus and is now taking full ownership of Alien. I think that, after all of these years, Scott was sick of being disassociated with the Alien films, and saw the potency of rekindled universes. With Fox already disenchanted with Blomkamp and his pitch, it was easy for them to pull the rug out from under him and let Scott take full reigns on the franchise for which he created nearly 40 years ago. So where does that leave everything?
Even though we’ve heard public support for Alien 5 from many of the Aliens cast (including Michael Biehn and Lance Henriksen, with Weaver saying she’d be surprised if FOX didn’t make it), I’ve been hearing for years that it’s deader than dead. It appears that Blomkamp finally has accepted this fate. When asked about the shelved sequel, Blomkamp responded that the chances were slim.
— Иeill Blomkamp (@NeillBlomkamp) January 21, 2017
Obviously, “slim” doesn’t mean never, but it’s as close to never as you’re going to get. And with Scott now planning three more Alien prequels (including this May’s Alien: Covenant), there’s really no room for a fifth Alien that would just confuse general audiences. I think the only real chance is that Fox wants to continue the franchise when Scott is done, which lands Ripley’s return to somewhere in the 2022-2024 range (landing Weaver somewhere in her mid-70s). I guess they could always show her frozen and dead in a sleep chamber (sorry, Hicks)? Covenant, on the other hand, takes off for Paradise on May 19, 2017.
“Scott reacting to Blomkamp’s ‘Alien’ sequel…“