By Matthew McKibben | February 26, 2015
Last week we got word that Neil Blomkamp’s next movie would involve Xenomorphs and facehuggers, but now we’re starting to get more information on what direction the movie will take in the larger context of the Alien franchise itself. In an interview with Sky News, Sigourney Weaver and Neil Blomkamp elaborated on the direction. “I want this film to feel like it’s literally the genetic sibling of Aliens. So it’s Alien, Aliens, and then this movie,” said Blomkamp. “I would love to take Ripley out of orbiting around in space, and give a proper finish to her story”, said Weaver.
This is a pretty bold creative choice, but given the quality of Alien³ and Alien: Resurrection, a choice that makes sense. Changing storylines is something that happens all the time in comic books, yet is a relatively new phenomenon in movies. Director Bryan Singer has already done it twice, with X-Men: Days of Future Past ignoring X-Men: The Last Stand, and with Superman Returns ignoring Superman III and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. Maybe we should call this phenomenon getting Singered. I liked Alien³ quite a bit, but it’s nowhere near the quality of Scott’s opener or Cameron’s follow-up. Despite the leash they put on David Fincher, there are some really great moments in the third movie, but it’s still largely a mess. I’ve seen Aien: Resurrection a couple of times, yet have zero interest in ever checking it out again. The underwater sequence was pretty dope, but the rest is pretty awful. So I like the idea that they’re going to just pretend those movies never existed and that we’re finally going to see what happened to Newt, Hicks, and Ripley after the events of Aliens.
Pretending the third and fourth Aliens movies never existed is interesting, but I’m far more interested in the notion that we’re firmly in an era where fans of existing properties are getting a chance to creatively play in those properties. You can add Neil Blomkamp to a list that already includes such names as Bryan Singer, Christopher Nolan, JJ Abrams, and Joss Whedon (among others). I like the idea that Blomkamp actively wanted this job and campaigned to get it. You want these movies to be directed by people who care for the material and have an interesting story to tell. To be completely honest, I wasn’t super thrilled with the Blomkamp announcement from last week, but the idea that they’re erasing those last two Alien movies has definitely increased my interest in this project.