Neill Blomkamp is a writer-director with a very distinctive style. His most high profile films – District 9, Elysium and the upcoming Sigourney Weaver starring Chappie – all feature the theme of humanity merging with ‘something else’ in various ways. Whether that ‘something else’ is technology or other lifeforms, the subject of futuristic transformation is ever-present. It should perhaps come as no surprise, then, that Blomkamp has long dreamed of making an Alien sequel of his own.
The Alien movie franchise – led by Blomkamp’s Chappie star, Sigourney Weaver – is widely considered to be a classic in cinematic science fiction. With its first instalment, in 1979, director Ridley Scott created a low-budget, female-led smash hit, that led to Aliens in 1986, Alien 3 in 1992 and Alien: Resurrection in 1997. Each chapter developed the story of Ellen Ripley (played by Weaver) – crew member of the commercial vessel Nostromo, who finds herself becoming the leading figure in a shadowy fight against a terrifying breed of aliens, referred to as Xenomorphs.
One of the most notable aspects of the franchise is the fact that each film is not only helmed by a different director, but those directors are each known for their particularly distinctive styles. After Scott kickstarted the franchise with the atmospheric horror-film-in-space, Alien, James Cameron then directed Aliens – which is essentially a space-based war film. Alien 3 had David Fincher in the director’s chair, and while it was criticised at the time as being the weakest of the series, it was nevertheless a specific commentary on a misogynistic society. Alien: Resurrection was directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, whose previous work included Delicatessen and The City Of lost Children, and he created an entirely new perspective on the ongoing story, which propelled the narrative forward in a somewhat controversial, but necessary direction.
The news that Neill Blomkamp is seriously considering making an Alien sequel means that he may well soon see his name added to that list. The director outlined the situation to Uproxx, while promoting Chappie.
“Basically, what happened was, when Chappie got heavily into post-production, I could take my foot off the gas a bit. I was thinking about what I wanted to do next and I’ve been wanting to make an Alien film for, like, years and years.
“Speaking to Sigourney Weaver, when we were doing Chappie, she set off a bunch of thoughts in my head – I had come up with an idea that didn’t have Sigourney, it was a different idea. But I spent all of the shooting time with her, it was like…that could actually be really interesting. When I came back to Vancouver, I had an entire year to work on Chappie. And when I wasn’t needed in the edit, I could think about Alien.
“There’s a high possibility, a high degree of chance that it happens – that I go back and try to get Alien made.”
Blomkamp, in conversation with Uproxx, is keen to point out that the decisions lie with him, however. Despite the blockbuster nature of the franchise, there appears to be no trepidation on the part of the studio.
“I’m the problem. Fox – they would make it. Like, tomorrow. They would make it.”
The director also indicates that Ridley Scott is also supportive of the proposed Alien sequel, even though he has his own addition to the Alien spin-off universe in the works. The Guardian reports that Scott is planning a follow-up to 2012’s Prometheus, featuring the characters portrayed by Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender, which will see them trying to track down the home of the ‘engineer aliens’ in an attempt to uncover their destructive motivations. The infamous Xenomorphs of the Alien films are not expected to appear, however.
Popular response to the idea of a Neill Blomkamp Alien sequel has been largely positive, since the director released concept artwork from his development process. Whether such audience eagerness is encouragement enough for the filmmaker to move toward realising that Alien sequel vision remains to be seen, however, since – as he explained to Uproxx – he just needs to “mentally agree with that”.
[Image via Getty Images]