Before Ridley Scott’s Prometheus 2 – officially labelled Alien: Paradise Lost – began picking up steam ahead of its 2017 release, it had all looked so positive for Neill Blomkamp’s impassioned pitch for Alien 5. After winning over legions of doubters with some truly impressive concept art along with courting Sigourney Weaver and Michael Biehn back for their respective parts, 20th Century Fox pumped the breaks on the director’s vision, and it wasn’t long before Paradise Lost took precedent at Fox.
For now, Blomkamp’s Alien 5 is officially “on hold”, and while there’s no indication of the exact length of time that the project will remain on the shelf, the director has now set his sights on a new film: an adaptation of acclaimed sci-fi novel The Gone World.
First picked up by Deadline, the outlet reports that the South African director will write and helm the time travel piece, while Chernin Entertainment will assume producing duties. Based on Thomas Sweterlitsch’s yet-to-be-published novel, it’s understood that The Gone World was the subject of an intense bidding war between various studios, with Fox eventually nailing down the rights. The author’s previous work, Tomorrow and Tomorrow, was recently acquired by TriStar.
As disappointing as it is to learn of Blomkamp’s Alien 5 languishing in development, this is perhaps the right project for the filmmaker at this stage in his career. Coming off the back of Elysium and Chappie, taking the reins of Fox’s The Gone World will mark the first time in the director’s career where he has adapted someone else’s work, and we’re excited to see how he adopts his filmmaking traits as a result.
Besides, if Neill Blomkamp really is recapture the goodwill brought about by the rather excellent District 9, then a “time travel procedural” seems like a perfect place to start – one that’s brimming with potential. At this stage, there’s no release date for The Gone World novel or its movie adaptation.