Aliens: Xenomorph is a movie that, tragically, we will never get to see. That is the first time I ever uttered those words– as much as I love the first two Alien films (wholeheartedly, BTW), this is a franchise that lost its way a long time ago, so a new movie isn’t exactly enough on its own to really get me excited.
But then, Neill Blomkamp treats us to a bunch of pre-production artwork via his Instagram, and all of the sudden, the Aliens saga seems exciting and interesting for the first time in forever. I hate that we’re only getting this look at the would-be movie after it’s dead… there’s stuff in these images that give me the same mix of nostalgia, excitement and hope that made the Star Wars Episode VII trailer worth an nigh-embarrassing number of rewatches.
We still don’t know what Xenomorph would have been about, but these images leave us with a lot of clues… For instance, Hicks was going to come back, a little worse for wear after the events on LV-426, but far less dead than he appeared in Alien 3:
And then, there’s this. It’s Ellen Ripley, dressed as a Space Jockey, complete with biomechanical armor that seems to integrate both Engineer AND Xenomorph elements. I have no idea what this means, but holy shit– that is one intriguing visual.
I hate that we’re seeing this stuff after the movie is, by all accounts, not moving forward. I’m not alone in feeling like these images have set my imagination on fire with the potential of what could have been another truly great addition to the Aliens legacy. Playing devil’s advocate, though, Prometheus looked intriguing and mysterious and exciting, too, and we know how that turned out. But this feels more personal, and more grounded… the perfect mix of iconic visuals tweaked just enough to leave us guessing (the one thing Prometheus did perfectly) but with the addition of familiar faces like Ripley, Hicks and the Queen, all of who mI would like to see return, if only for the sake of giving them a more proper sendoff than their universally underwhelming exits from the franchise.
Here’s some more concept art Blomkamp also shared. I am positive we’re only seeing this because Blomkamp is cool enough to share a look at what could have been… But man oh man, do I wish this was some kind of PR stunt to drum up interest in Xenomorph. Because it certainly worked!