On Thursday night, director Neill Blomkamp shared a piece of concept art to the upcoming Alien sequel, which is currently untitled and still in the early stages of production. The Alien artwork might have proven disappointing to Alien fans hoping for glimpses of xenomorphs, but it did reveal Blomkamp’s plan to bring back Alien stars Sigourney Weaver as Ripley and Michael Biehn as Corporal Hicks.
The idea of spearheading an Alien sequel project occurred to Neill, when he worked with Sigourney Weaver on Chappie, which Blomkamp confessed “set off a bunch of thoughts in my head.”
“When I came back to Vancouver, I had an entire year to work on Chappie,” Blomkamp said in an interview. “And when I wasn’t needed in the edit, I could think about Alien. So, I basically developed an entire movie and I did all of this artwork as well.”
While Blomkamp has been brainstorming ideas for his Alien film, another project related to the Alien films has been well underway. Sonnet Realm Films announced earlier this year that they were producing an Alien tribute film entitled Alien: Identity. The film, similar to Blomkamp’s proposed project, picks up 14 years after the events of James Cameron’s Aliens.
Alien: Identity was to bring back Newt and Sgt. Frost from the first Alien film.
All seemed to be going well with Alien: Identity under production, until a cease and desist order was issued by Fox with sources saying that the Alien: Identity story skirts too closely to the plot of Neill Blomkamp’s Alien film. For those hoping for a glimpse into the Alien sequel’s plot by studying the details for Alien: Identity, the director of that film, Adam Sonnet, has provided a synopsis.
“Alien: Identity takes place 14 years after the events of Jim Cameron’s 1986 blockbuster, Aliens. It continues the story of Newt, the little girl we all loved, but despised to see perish in vain. They decided to bring back Newt, played by Elle Viane Sonnet as a young woman with an undeniably haunting past and an uncertain future.”
“I love the character Newt,” explains Adam Sonnet. “Bringing her back has been something I’ve thought about for years, which is why this film takes place after Aliens, and dismisses the events of Alien 3 and Resurrection. It has been pretty much accepted as canon, that the last two films of the series are considered cryo-sleep nightmares, which we have no objection to.”
The project seems promising, but, unfortunately, Alien: Identity will never be completed. Sonnet Realm Films released a public statement, declaring their intention to comply with the order issued by Fox.
“Although we wanted to make a tribute film spin off in the Alien universe reuniting original cast members to play new roles, we understand that this is Fox’s intellectual property and we want to respect their wishes. Therefore, we peacefully withdraw from any further production of Alien: Identity, and will pursue our own original content, which I think is best anyway.”
Alien: Identity might have offered a unique take on the Alien film, so it seems unfortunate that Fox felt threatened by the project. Fans will have to be content with Neill Blomkamp’s Alien sequel.
[Featured image courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox/Aliens]