We’ve got some bad news for you about the new ‘Alien’ movies
Alien is back. Ridley Scott confirmed that he will direct the next film in the science fiction franchise, but he won’t be utilizing characters from the past two sequels. Scott told Movie Web the next installment will “reinvent the wheel” in terms of theme and relevance to the larger Alien timeline.
Scott’s announcement comes as bad news to some fans and good news to others. The first Alien prequel, Prometheus, was released to a divided audience in 2012, but its reputation has improved, and the film has developed a cult following in the years since. Alien: Covenant followed the surviving characters of Prometheus in 2017, and while it earned positive reviews from critics, it under performed at the box office.
Given the divisive response to the first two-thirds of Scott’s prequel trilogy, it makes sense that he’s looking to change his approach. “We went down a route to try and reinvent the wheel with Prometheus and Covenant,” he explained. “Whether or not we go directly back to that is doubtful because Prometheus woke it up very well.”
Evolving the franchise
Scott’s new changes mark the latest in a series of revisions made to the prequel trilogy. He originally planned to release a sequel to Prometheus called Paradise Lost, but the negative response to the first film led to him retooling it as Alien: Covenant. Many of the subplots and characters from Prometheus were dropped or relegated to deleted scenes as a result.
“I still think there’s a lot of mileage in Alien, but I think you’ll have to now re-evolve,” the director told The Los Angeles Times. “What I always thought when I was making it, the first one, why would a creature like this be made and why was it traveling in what I always thought was a kind of war-craft. What was the purpose of the vehicle and what was the purpose of the eggs? That’s the thing to question: for what purpose is the next idea?”
Scott told Little White Lies he was working on a script for the third film as early as 2018, and he intended to start production during the first half of 2019. Scott’s decision to helm the drama All the Money in the World delayed pre-production on the film, however, and he’s still waiting on a green light from 20th Century Fox.
The working title for the next film is Alien: Awakening, and Scott claimed it will link the prequel trilogy to the events of the 1979 original. He told Cinema Blend he considered bringing Sigourney Weaver back to reprise her iconic character Ripley; albeit with CGI technology to make her look younger.
“We’re heading toward the back end of the first Alien so [using CG] may be feasible. Ripley’s going to be somebody’s daughter, obviously,” Scott revealed. “We’re coming in from the back end. The time constraints of what’s the time between this film, where we leave David going off heading for that colony, I think you’re probably two films out from even considering her.”
As we previously mentioned, however, Scott is prone to changing his mind, so these details should be taken with a grain of salt. Weaver recently talked to Empire about the possibility of returning to Alien and she admitted to being “unenthused” by the idea. “I don’t know, Ridley has gone in a different direction,” she reasoned. “Maybe Ripley has done her bit – she deserves a rest.”
While Scott’s “new” direction may upset fans who have passionately kept up with the franchise, they can take solace in the fact a more familiar Alien film may be in the works. Franchise producer Walter Hill has penned an eighty-page treatment for a fifth Alien movie, which would retcon the events of the poorly-received sequels Alien 3 (1992) and Alien: Resurrection (1997).
Neill Blomkamp was slated to direct Alien 5 back in 2015, but the film was shelved when Scott announced his plans to make another prequel. Blomkamp and Hill have continued to work on the script, however, and James Cameron recently hinted at the possibility he would get the film back on track. Cameron told IGN he was “actively working” with Blomkamp to give Aliens (1986) the sequel it deserved.