Poll: Neill Blomkamp’s ‘Alien’ Sequel Project

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?

What Do You Think of Neill Blomkamp's 'Alien' Sequel Plans?

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  1. I’m ONLY interested in this movie if a) it does ignore Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection and brings us Ellen Ripley back or b) it ignores Ripley completely and brings us something brand new.

    I have no desire to see the Ripley clone again or any continuation of the storyline set up in Resurrection.

    Fans should be out there ENCOURAGING Neill to undo Alien 3 and Resurrection instead of griping about how it’s going to screw up continuity. If there’s anything we’ve learned from all the failed attempts to relaunch this franchise, fans want to see the REAL Ripley, not some concoction just to get the actress back in the movie.

  2. NJScorpio

    Huge Alien franchise fan here. I could spend all day discussing this topic, but I’ll keep it short:

    (1) When you have two (fairly different) movies that are probably the best examples of their respective genres (Alien & Aliens), other films in the franchise will always seem “lesser”.
    (2) Alien 3 is a very well done movie in many ways, and as far as I’m concerned should remain cannon. Unfortunately, it would likely need to be the theatrical cut.
    (4) Resurrection, while I do dislike it, has it’s own charms. It was a clever enough way to address Ripley’s demise at the end of 3, and the significant jump into the future allowed for an interesting change in tone and ascetics. Still, I can understand how it will be difficult to expand on a franchise while keeping this film cannon. But, it should remain.
    (5) The only satisfying route to go, IMO, is to flesh out the story between Aliens and Alien 3. But would that work with an older Weaver?
    (6) The worst, laziest, but perhaps cleanest way to do this is to have Ripley dream 3 & 4 while in cryosleep.

  3. There’s not really a poll option that represents my opinion so I chose “Sounds great to me.” I also liked Alien 3 & Resurrection, I think they get way more hate than they deserve, that said I hated the way they dispatched Hicks and Newt and I always thought there was wasted potential there. Ideally I would like this to somehow fit into continuity still (please no de-aging, blech) but I’m not going to be a stickler here as continuity has never been this series strong suit. Basically this project makes me think of The Sarah Connor Chronicles where after sequels muddied the waters they set the series after T2 and built a separate but still relevant timeline. And really what better place to set this than after Aliens? Do we really think there is more fertile grounds after Resurrection? AVP: Requiem? Prometheus? As for Blomkamp himself, District 9 was great, I didn’t think Elysium was terrible but it was disappointing. Still though he has an aesthetic that would lend itself to the franchise very well I think, and perhaps he’ll be better suited to working within the confines of an established universe.

  4. Bolo

    Nobody in Hollywood wants to hear the words “It’s over, move on” in relation to any mega-grossing franchise property, but I feel this series reached its logical narrative conclusion in Alien 3. Whatever narrative device Blomkamp busts out to bring Ripley and Hicks back to life is bound to feel cheap and contrived. I’m just never going to feel engaged. Once you starting messing around with the finality of death, you rob a horror/action movie of a lot of its tension.

    Prometheus represented an opportunity to approach at the Alien world from a different angle and with fresh characters. It was a good approach to continuing the series, but the execution was completely bungled resulting in a pretty bad movie.

    So at this point it’s just done for me. I actually like Alien 3 in spite of its flaws, so that makes it much easier for me to accept as the conclusion of the series. I don’t need an alternate Alien 3 to feel some sense of closure with this series.

    For those of you who really hate Alien 3 and have complained about it for the past few decades, I sincerely hope Blomkamp gives you whatever it was you wanted instead and you go home happy. I just won’t watch it.

    • C.C. 95

      That CGI dog with an elongated head running on all fours was NOT the Alien. Alien 3 was a disaster in that respect. Alien 3 was a movie desperately trying to NOT be an Alien movie.
      Right down to the ridiculous CGI dogAlien.

      • William Henley

        I think it is more than that – apparently with Alien 3, they thought that the only way to make a movie scary was to make it gorey. Alien was suspense, Aliens was action, but the gore in Alien 3 doesn’t work for me. The story also sucked.

        And yeah, that CGI dog was awful

        • Wasn’t it stop motion? Maybe the director’s cut had cgi in it, but if I remeber correctly, it moved in a jerky non fluid way like stop motion.

          • Bolo

            The Alien in Alien 3 was done with a couple different techniques. For the most part it was a puppet filmed against a bluescreen and superimposed into scenes.

      • Bolo

        Alien 3 is just as different from Aliens as Aliens was from Alien. One of the things I really liked about the Alien series was that each entry had a different feel.

        But I’ve long accepted that Alien 3 is widely hated. Some of the reasons I can understand, others I don’t.

  5. Ryan

    I liked Alien(s) as a kid, but I have no real feelings for the franchise now. If it’s a good movie, cool, I’ll see it. If it sucks, it won’t matter to me either way

  6. I think as a fan of the franchise, I would of loved to see a what if version with Hicks and maybe even Newt not being killed off. To try and squeeze a new inbetweenquel to keep this as part of the original series seems like a plot hole filled disaster. It’s not like all of the sudden our copies of alien 3 and 4 are going to disappear into thin air if they do an alternate sequel. We as fans can choose what we like in our universe. I’ve already done that with The Terminator series. Part 1 & 2 go together and I still watch 3 and 4 and even this new one that’s coming out, but I don’t consider them relevant to the first two. They tried doing that with Predator as well, although I myself love part 2 and still consider it part of Dutch’s universe. I would love to see a new Alien flick with some xenomorph carnage. I hope they don’t use cgi to make Weaver look younger, that looks like ass. Maybe they’re back on earth and have aged normally and have been living their lives, but the aliens invade earth many years later. Whatever the story, I’d rather have them aged. I’m game to see Michael Biehn get another shot at kicking some alien ass. Speaking of Michael Biehn, I think now that he’s older, he would make an awesome future John Connor…but that’s another topic. Bottom line, I’m game for a new “alternate sequel” Alien flick. It could go both ways. As far as Blomkamp goes, I think he’s quite capable, but I haven’t seen Chappie yet. I hope aesthetically he has more to offer than what I’ve seen on District 9, Elysium, and possibly Chappie.( still haven’t seen enough footage of it to gauge it). Hopefully his alienverse doesn’t look like a run down barrio or shanty town. I like the look, but they kind if look the same.

  7. After District 9 I was all-in for whatever else he would direct. After Elysium I lost all faith. I might see Chappie in the theater, but if it has as heavy-handed a political commentary as Elysium I will lose all interest in him directing an alien sequel. Maybe he should just stick to production design and concept work. Writing may not be his gig.

    • You liked District 9, but hated Elysium because of the heavy political commentary? That seems to imply you didn’t think there were any heavy political commentary in District 9.

      • I didn’t dislike Elysium simply because of the political commentary. Almost all aspects had flaws. District 9 was better all-around. I know there is political commentary, but nowhere near as poorly done as Elysium. To my understanding the political commentary was more aimed at what South Africans are experiencing. Since I’m not South African it didn’t feel heavy-handed.

  8. William Henley

    If it happens between Aliens and Alien 3, then Newt should be alive as well.

    I am perfectly okay with them ignoring the third and fourth movies. They were so bad that I refused to buy the Anthology, no matter how cheap it was, despite the extras, simply because I refused for any of the money I spent to go toward those two movies, and instead waited for the movies to be released individually. I have the first two now on Blu-Ray. So yeah, nuke Alien 3.

    That said, I wish I could choose two answers in the poll – nuke Alien 3, and get a better director. In fact, I think they should bring back either Cameron or Scott. But I am all for any movie that does away with the latter two movies – shoot, I would even let Lucas direct it.

    So yeah, bring on this movie! I am all for it!

  9. Timcharger

    Josh, the most important thing to focus on is…
    …does Blomkamp promise answers to the mysteries of the universe
    within a horror sci-fi film about suck-face aliens with acid blood and
    horrible french-kissing tongues?

  10. Timcharger

    Josh: “I hope this project dies without ever going into production.”

    As of now, after 144 votes, your choice has gotten 1 vote.
    “This is a terrible idea. I hope the project crashes and never happens. (1%, 1 Votes)”

    Probably the likely outcome. Alone but right?

  11. Chris B

    Seems iffy, but if they did make it a “between-quel” just cast younger actors to play Ripley and Hicks. Don’t try and CGI away 30 years of aging…that’s a stupid idea.

  12. EM

    I’ve never understood the District 9 love or, more to the point, felt it. I didn’t bother with Elysium and am not sanguine about Chappie, though I haven’t yet made up my mind about whether to see the latter. I voted “skeptical”.

  13. Guy

    I’m an absolute blasphemer when it comes to this franchise and its spin-offs. While recognizing and willfully admitting its importance/influence, I find Alien to be quite overrated. It’s sixty good minutes trapped in a two hour runtime. Hell, I even think Alien vs. Predator: Requiem deserves some respect; it’s cinematic empty calories, but it’s a lovingly made tribute to its parent franchises. More on topic and despite it being the nadir for many, Alien 3 is tied with Aliens at the top of the Xenomorph heap for me. I’ve never understood what people think is so bad about it…and I’ve rewatched them all since this news story broke.

    Seeing how I’m a twisted individual when it comes to all things Alien, I’m game to see a What If? movie that ignores Alien 3 and explores a different narrative path. I say bring it on. I’ll just view it as a side-quel anyway. I think people overstate Hicks and his importance in Aliens, so I’d like to see the character actually live up to his reputation in this project. The character always had potential and Biehn is great, he’s just not on-screen enough in Aliens to really do his thing. Ripley deserves a better send-off than the interesting, yet undercooked Alien: Resurrection. Besides, there’s absolutely nothing Blomkamp is going to put on screen that’s worse than Prometheus, so why not?

  14. Out of all the alien related films, I have watched ALIENS and PROMETHEUS the most times. I like the all at some level and some are better than others. Even the worst alien movie is better than most of the other movies that we get bombarded with every year. DISTRICT 9 blew me away, I loved it. ELYSIUM wasn’t as good to me as DISTRICT 9 but I find that I am more likely to re-watch ELYSIUM than DISTRICT 9… more fun or something, not really sure what it is.

    I think people spend way to much time and energy on coming with ways to limit filmmakers creativity. Why do we create rules that they filmmakers have to follow? Why can’t we just let them be creative and let them surprise us and challenge us. Who says that each alien movie have follow certain rules? Why do they have follow a logical story that works across all of them? Why can’t we just get a stand alone story with the same actors? Or even alternative versions of the same movie? I would hate to be a filmmaker and be limited by everyone else’s lack of vision and creativity. It must be frustrating.

    Call it a reboot, bring in some of the favorite actors and be done with it. Strip away the rules and make something that blows me away, something I would have never expected, something that challenges me. What if the first alien movie you saw was one of the latest ones and you hadn’t seen the others, I am sure you would like that film better than any of the garbage that is on Sci-Fi channel or 99% of the Sci-Fi on Netflix.

    What if, Ripley suddenly woke up on a strange space station somewhere and didn’t know anything about how she got there or what happened. She has visions or flashbacks of scary but abstract alien horror. But, she can’t tell if it is a nightmare or something that really happened. She thinks she is going crazy and is all alone. She tries to find answers on the ship and figures out how to contact Earth and they tell her she is all alone and nothing has happened and she just needs to wait and they will come get her. But she can’t wait and she starts to discover clues around the ship and starts to feel less crazy but discovers something sinister is going on. Just as she starts to get her sanity back and the paranoia starts to subside she finds cryo tubes and in them are Hicks and Newt and she starts to panic as memories start coming back to her. She looks at one more tube and a younger version of herself is in there and she really starts to loose it. She unfreezes Hicks to get answers. He starts to freak out when he comes around since he sees an older Ripley in front of him and he is older than he remembers but he also sees the younger Ripley and then he can’t remember what happened either. Together they try to piece things together and struggle over it. The station they are on starts to have mechanical problems, electrical systems failing they can’t figure out what is wrong. They contact Earth and one of the same messages Ripley got earlier plays again, she realizes its not live and is prerecorded. The ship systems continue to degrade and they get more panic not sure what to do. They decide to leave the ship via the airlock before they lose all power and they found out they are not in space at all and are in a facility and everything is destroyed. They get out the ship and start looking around and that’s when we see aliens and they start stalking them… lots of clichés and stuff here but even so they could do something interesting that would be worth watching a few times.

    Or do something way out there and ignore that all the other movies even happened and just start with something fresh and interesting.

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