The chances are that Ridley Scott helmed Alien prequel series might get canceled, and that would make it an ideal time to revive Neill Blomkamp “totally dead” Alien 5. For almost four decades, the Xenomorph has held the pride place as one of the scariest horror monsters; created under Ridley Scott’s supervision in 1979; the franchise has seen six films, two crossovers, and plans for much more to follow. But, while Fox readies to scrap Scott’s Alien: Covenant sequels, could there be a chance for audiences to scream in outer space once again?
The franchise was once considered to be among the iconic horror movies, but, the subsequent years haven’t been good to Alien, and the several prequels and sequels failed to match the first two films. Neill Blomkamp raised hopes initially, who created a huge impact with District 9 and there was a time when he was hired to helm a fascinating Alien 5 movie. That project was reportedly scrapped in 2016, but, now the franchise has a highly uncertain future, and it might just be revived.
WHY BLOMKAMP’S ALIEN MOVIE WAS NEVER MADE?
Blomkamp helmed sequel had a simple concept. Just start from where James Cameron’s highly appreciated Alien ended and simply delete all the poor stuff that followed. The undeniable truth that Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection were no match to the earlier movies; both were affected by studio’s interferences, and had vague ideas about what the franchise truly was. Blomkamp had planned to reboot the series, chucking out Hicks and Newt’s real-life demises, and taking the series back to the basics. Sigourney Weaver had come on board, Michael Biehn was eager to play Hicks, and gutsy concept art had appealed to fans across various demographics.
But, the maker created a hurdle. When Scott took the call to go ahead with Covenant and focus on the much older origins of the species, he compelled Fox and chucked out Blomkamp’s movie. Although the story beyond Alien could have co-existed with the prequels, Ridley was unwilling. Simply speaking, it was the timing and studio interference that once again shelved the movie.
WHAT’S WRONG WITH RIDLEY SCOTT’S ALIEN PREQUELS?
There was a lot of buzz about Scott coming back to the world of disgusting monsters and killer androids. However, the outcome couldn’t impress the audiences. 2012 movie Prometheus was criticized for not being a “classic” Alien film, and Covenant also went the other way; the talks about creation continued, however, it was merged with CGI Xenomorphs and pale horror. There were talks about the third movie totally doing away with Aliens and focusing on Michael Fassbender’s David as well as other AI lead characters, which upset fans. Covenant did much worse than anticipated at the box-office, and many people were cringing at the idea of Scott making another trilogy.
It was all about a great deal of hazy ambition. Both films appeared to focus more on style than on content, and above all, they were nothing like what people wanted from Alien. Scott himself understood that it was not all hunky dory, and recently stated that the Xenomorph was becoming stale. While his series certainly has lost the momentum, but, not the creature.
WILL THERE BE AN ALIEN 5?
Fox has almost scrapped the mega concepts of Scott, and it makes a great case for someone else to step in and helm Alien 5. There is a compelling reason why people generally can’t figure out whether it is Alien or Aliens, however, after the unrealistic prequels hurrying through the noisy and blood hungry Cameron film will only be the right thing. It has been said that the project is scrapped, but, a great deal of films have made it beyond the development abyss, such as Deadpool. It shows how never is never the final word. If there is an interest to make a fresh Alien, there would be several worse options compared to a project which has already done significant conceptualization.
But, there is a huge problem. Why would Disney – who just purchased Alien and various other Fox franchises, want to make a movie on killer acid-throwing aliens? Disney is reputed as a family oriented movie maker, and it is difficult to imagine there being a Xenomorph ride at Disneyland or kids looking for a stuffed Alien toy in the gift shop. Agreed that a Blomkamp movie will help Disney break the stereotypes, but, is the Mouse House even willing to do that? The fact is, Alien hitting the cinemas under Disney’s brand is a huge risk, and considering the recent box-office performance of the franchise, it might just be too big a risk, at least as of now.
HOW BLOMKAMP CAN REVIVE ALIEN
Risk or no risk, but, that’s the correct thing to do. Everything that has been revealed about Blomkamp’s concept hints at it being totally opposite of Scott’s prequels, which would assure that it would be something appealing which at worst would get rid of the problem. There might be a lot of franchises which have been resurrected from near extinction, only to a disinterested response from audiences (Scream, Saw, and Indiana Jones). However, there have also been success stories, and there is a demand for a well-made Alien movie.
The potential is superbly highlighted by another major sci-fi franchise on the comeback trail after having been through a lot of turbulence. James Cameron’s Terminator 6 is not yet ready to release, therefore, it can’t really be the benchmark, but, seeing the tremendous reaction to the Cameron and Linda Hamilton’s comeback is a good example of how you can bring fans back with a reboot, especially one that is greatly connected to the original. This holds true for Alien as well, and Ripley’s return might appeal to the fans and give the project a continuity feel.
The biggest advantage with Alien 5 is that the entire concept is ready. Blomkamp has shared only a little bit of the concept art, but, he has a 25-page treatment ready which had given a serious impetus to the movie. He is still passionate, and fans can understand that someone who created his artwork to be such an event wouldn’t lose interest.