Since most of Neil Blomkamp’s Alien 5 awesome concept art was hinged around Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley as a main character, it seemed a pretty safe bet that if the movie was now in the process of becoming a reality, it would be with Weaver’s involvement. But now, that has been confirmed, via an interview on Sky Movies (which has since been set to private).
Basically, Weaver says she’s coming back to give Ripley “a proper finish.” Which is strange, as she actually had a quite good finish at the end of Alien 3. It was heavy, and dark, and kind of a total bummer… but that fit nicely with the bleak trajectory of Ellen as a character, and the nihilistic undertone of the Aliens series.
My point about Alien 3 won’t matter for long, though… Neil Blomkamp has stated that his plan is to ignore both Alien 3 and Resurrection (and I’d imagine the AVP movies… but let’s be honest– who doesn’t ignore those?). This is the part I have mixed feelings on. Yes, I’m totally stoked at the possible return of a heavily acid-scarred Michael Biehn as Hicks in the new movie. And it will be nice to be rid of the scene where Ripley fucks an alien in Resurrection. But just pretending those movies never existed seems like a cop out.
It would be way cooler if Blomkamp could figure out a way to not erase the past, and to keep his story moving forward in the Alien franchise continuity, instead of side-stepping half of it. I will admit, though, the Alien series, more than most others, kind of did paint itself into a corner, especially in regards to Ripley as a character. But the fact remains that, for better or worse, the franchise got where it went by essentially reinventing itself with each movie. Even the worst of the bunch, Resurrection, has its own style and feel, making it a very unique (bad) entry within the greater storyline.
Blomkamp uses the term “genetic sequel” to describe the connection he envisions between his movie and James Cameron’s Aliens. I’m not sure how I feel about that expression. Based on what we’ve seen, Alien 5 will really be the first literal sequel in the series, one that directly continue a story instead of rebooting it into something else. I think Aliens is absolutely the film in this series most deserving of a direct continuation… but if that is all that Alien 5 ends up being, the result might still be underwhelming. Especially since it will now come at the expense of two established movies, for better or worse.
I’m willing to throw caution to the wind, and stick with this project anyway. Blomkamp’s concept art remains intriguing. There’s imagery here that set my imagination on fire when I first saw it a few months back, that still has me asking questions and putting scenes together in my head. That’s exciting, and I hope it means the end result of Alien 5 will be another unique, worthy entry into this franchise, one that stands on its own merits instead of being overly reliant on Cameron’s Aliens.
What do you think? Are you okay with letting go of Alien 3 and Resurrection, in favor of whatever else Blomkamp has envisioned for his movie?