The Alien franchise is in a mess. Despite being some of the best science fiction horror films of all-time and featuring an all-time iconic movie monster, the series’ mythology has disappeared up its own arse. The rot arguably began way back in 1992’s Alien 3, with each subsequent film getting a little worse. Then came Prometheus and Alien: Covenant, which threw in a load of confusing and portentous pseudo-philosophy into the creature’s origin story. Audiences were nonplussed, resulting in Covenant flopping and the franchise being on ice ever since.
Now, Disney having purchased the Alien IP as part of their merger with Fox, plans to perform an Alien resurrection. We’re hearing from our sources – the same ones who revealed that an Aladdin sequel was happening, which was confirmed this week – that they’re poised to reboot several high profile franchises that they acquired in the Fox deal, with Alien being the biggest.
So, what could this new version of the property consist of? Well, the obvious route would be to start off with the basics and do a loose remake of 1979’s Alien. Thing is, that film is such a classic and its excellent production design and practical effects mean it hasn’t aged poorly. Perhaps the best thing to do then might be to pull the same trick that Blumhouse did with Halloween and make a sequel to the first film that discounts everything that followed.
It’s a tactic that lets Disney claim they’re respecting the history of the franchise while giving them a blank sheet to go forward with. Plus, they’d still have Ellen Ripley floating around in cryosleep somewhere in-universe.
One thing we’ve also heard is that Ridley Scott may oversee the reboot as a producer. After his last two Alien movies, Disney might have cold feet about giving him much input into the script and plotting, but Scott’s a master of production design and atmosphere. We also know that Disney isn’t planning to sand the edges off the franchise, with CEO Bob Iger committed to maintaining an R-rating.
It might be a while before we get any concrete news on the studio’s plans, but I’m cautiously excited to see what they’ll turn out. Whatever the case, it’ll be nice to watch an Alien movie that doesn’t require reading a dozen Wikipedia pages to understand what happened.