After leaving his mark on the sci-fi genre with the incredible District 9, director Neill Blomkamp followed up his debut pic with Elysium and Chappie. Admittedly, neither film hit quite the same heights that his first effort did, but they were still impressive enough to catch the attention of same pretty important people in Hollywood. As such, Blomkamp quickly found himself attached to Alien 5, which would reunite him with Sigourney Weaver after working with the actress on Chappie.
From what we heard, his plan was to reboot the franchise, with the fifth instalment in the iconic sci-fi/horror series looking to erase Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection. While it never truly got off the ground, the project did take some significant steps forward and seemed to be on the right track for a while, with impressive concept art surfacing last year. Things were looking pretty good for the film then – until Ridley Scott started putting together Alien: Covenant, that is. It was at that point which Blomkamp’s project started to fizzle out.
Officially, we were told that Alien 5 was being put on hold, but as more and more time passed and Covenant began to take shape, it became clear that the director wouldn’t be getting to make his film after all. It was unfortunate, to be sure, and we’re still left thinking about what could have been.
We’ll likely never know, but Blomkamp has been speaking quite a bit about his original plans lately, and in a recent interview, the director revealed that his project actually began life as “a new tale about a new character.”
“I met Sigourney on Chappie and I had a different idea for an Alien film I wanted to make. So I had this idea for a story set in the world of those two first films that was not a continuation of James Cameron’s,” Blomkamp explained, digging into the genesis of the project. “It was just in the world of it and it had a totally different character that was the lead character. Because my assumption was that Sigourney would just never make another one. I told her about it on Chappie and she was like ‘No, no, no! I actually would make another one because I felt like Ripley’s story didn’t end correctly.’”
He continued, “So I went back to Vancouver and while I was editing Chappie I started to think about what I would do with Sigourney as basically a sequel to James Cameron’s film. I spent about a year working on it with only Sigourney knowing and I hired one really awesome concept artist. We put together essentially a script and all the artwork and that’s what I went to 20th Century Fox with. They seemed really into it and Ridley [Scott] came on as producer and then it just unraveled.”
Further in the interview, Blomkamp noted that, as we already suspected, it was Scott who essentially killed the project.
“It’s very difficult to speak about on several levels because Ridley created Alien. It was something that inspired me deeply. I got into film because of it,” Blomkamp explained. “Everything that happened with my script and with the way the film collapsed – it’s hard to talk about it without it seeming like I’m bashing him which is like one of my idols to get into film. It’s a super strange psychological place but films go down in Hollywood all the time. That’s just essentially, I think, what happened and it sucks for me. It’s not that it sucks for Sigourney, it’s not going to make any difference to her, but I think she really did like the story because it allowed Ripley to… it really felt like a cool third film.”
Clearly, Scott wanted the franchise to head in a different direction, but given the underwhelming response to both Prometheus and Covenant, it seems that he’s not exactly on the same page as the fans are. Blomkamp was going to bring back Ripley and continue her story with his film, which in our opinion, probably would have been the better decision than diving into the Engineers and all that, like Ridley’s been doing. Not that the recent entries in the franchise have been bad, mind you, but they certainly have their fair share of issues.
Still, Scott’s obviously calling the shots here and this is the direction that the Alien movies are going to continue to head in for the foreseeable future, which means that Blomkamp’s planned project will never get to see the light of day now and we’re left to wonder how a return to Ripley and her story would have turned out.
Source: Bloody Disgusting