Neill Blomkamp, the director of District 9, Elysium and Chappie, owes a big debt to the Alien franchise. You can see it in everything he does. The tactility of the Nostromo is evident in much of his production design. The space marines in Aliens clearly influenced his idea of a realistic sci-fi arsenal. So it was absolutely no surprise that Blomkamp had storyboards from an idea for Alien 5 just kicking around.
The real surprise was Fox taking notice of the positive fan response once Blomkamp posted those images on his Instagram account. The storyboards showed an alternate take on the post-Aliens franchise. On full display were Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley and Michael Biehn’s Hicks, both very much dead by the end of Alien 3. But it’s no surprise that if Blomkamp were to play in the Alien sandbox he’d want to find a way to bring along his favourite toys.
Once Fox gave the go-ahead for Blomkamp’s Alien 5 there was interest from Sigourney Weaver and Michael Biehn in reprising their roles. Unfortunately for them the ever-prolific Ridley Scott had finished Exodus: Gods and Kings and The Martian and decided his next film would be the follow-up to 2012’s Prometheus. Scott allegedly asked Blomkamp if he would hold off on his film until Prometheus 2 — currently titled Alien:Covenant — was released.
It’s seemed for a while that Alien 5 was quietly put on the back-burner and there was a small chance it would ever see the light of day.
According to Sigourney Weaver, that’s not the case.
“Neill and I are really excited about doing it. We’re doing other things until we can get going on that. I’d be really surprised if we didn’t do it,” Weaver said, discussing the state of the film at a recent event.
There are also rumours that Blomkamp has even reworked his script a bit to help keep it in line with Alien: Covenant. So this is great news for any sci-fi fan who loves to see various directors with strong visions working in this universe.
For Alien Day Blomkamp revealed something special: some concept art for a grown-up, not dead Newt. Whether this means cloning or Alien 3 being completely ignored, I’m definitely intrigued.
I’m a huge fan of Prometheus, so the delay was more sweet than bitter for me. That being said, I’m also Blomkamp fan. While his dismissal of Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection may come off as petty to some — and I actually don’t mind Alien 3 or the deaths of Hicks and Newt — I’m fully in support of a filmmaker ignoring whatever he wants to make a compelling story.
So hopefully Alien: Covenant is great and Alien 5 can match that. Weaver always brings it, even in the fairly dire Alien: Resurrection, and while Biehn didn’t get much to do in Aliens I’m intrigued about what an older, scarred up Hicks would be like. Ideally he’ll be allowed to bring the same kind of off-kilter character work he showed in The Terminator and The Abyss.
Currently Alien: Covenant stars Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Danny McBride and Demián Bichir and is scheduled for release on August 2, 2017.
Neill Blomkamp’s Alien 5 will hopefully come some time later.