Neill Blomkamp, director of the excellent ‘District 9‘, the terrible ‘Elysium‘, and this week’s still-to-be-determined ‘Chappie’, wants to make an ‘Alien’ sequel. More specifically, he wants to make a direct sequel to James Cameron’s ‘Aliens’ that ignores the franchise’s later sequels. Assuming that this ever actually goes before cameras, do you think it’s a good idea?
Blomkamp’s plans first came to light when the director posted some concept art for a proposed sequel that showed an aging Ripley and a still-very-much-alive Corporal Hicks with scars on his face, presumably from the injuries sustained at the end of ‘Aliens’. As you’ll recall, Hicks was killed off at the beginning of ‘Alien 3’. Ripley also died at the end of that movie, but came back as a clone in ‘Alien Resurrection’. (Sorry for the decades-old plot spoilers, but if you haven’t seen these movies by now that’s nobody’s fault but your own.)
Initially, Blomkamp played off the images as idle doodles for an idea he had that didn’t actually have any backing from 20th Century Fox, which owns the franchise. However, after the story blew up on the internet, the project gained traction and Blomkamp is reportedly now officially developing it for the studio, with further support from star Sigourney Weaver (who worked with Blomkamp in ‘Chappie’).
After receiving some backlash about the continuity issues this would create, Blomkamp recently clarified that:
My favorites are the first two movies, so I want to make a film that’s connected to ‘Alien’ and ‘Aliens’… That’s my goal. I’m not trying to undo ‘Alien 3’ or ‘Alien: Resurrection’; I just want it to be connected to Alien ‘1’ and ‘2.’
So, how can he make a movie that doesn’t undo the last two movies, yet still has Cpl. Hicks alive?
The most obvious solutions would seem to be: 1) Hicks is a clone, like Ripley. Or 2) The movie will be a between-quel that picks up after the end of ‘Aliens’, and is destined to end with everyone back in hypersleep on board the Sulaco so that the story can tie into the beginning of ‘Alien 3’.
The latter idea would provide a convenient excuse to explain where the mysterious alien egg came from at the beginning of ‘Alien 3’. Fans have bitched about that for years. However, Blomkamp would have a hard time explaining why Sigourney Weaver looks so much older now than she did in ‘Alien 3’, unless he plans to use extensive de-aging CGI effects on the actress.
Admittedly, ‘Alien 3’ and ‘Resurrection’ are not much-loved among fans of the first two movies. Many people over the years have wished that the events in them could be written out as a bad dream or some other terrible ret-con contrivance. Personally, I like both both films on their own merits. I like ‘Alien 3’ quite a lot, actually. Any attempt to write them out sounds like bad fan-fiction to me. And although I really enjoyed Blomkamp’s ‘District 9’, his follow-up ‘Elysium’ was totally moronic, and I don’t hold out a lot of hope for ‘Chappie’ either.
I hope this project dies without ever going into production. What’s your take on it?