It’s now been almost 33 years since the release of James Cameron’s Aliens, and in all that time, the Alien franchise has yet to deliver another movie where the reception from fans and critics was better than mixed. Nonetheless, the demand for more films is still out there, and with the announcement of the new mobile game Alien: Blackout, many were hoping that this was just the beginning of a resurgence for the franchise.
Sadly, this doesn’t appear to be the case, with FoxNext’s vice president of external development TQ Jefferson telling Variety that Blackout is just a one-off.
“[The slogan] ReadWatchPlay is referring to individual entries for each one,” Jefferson said. “It’s exploring different elements of Amanda Ripley’s saga. Alien: Blackout is a standalone premium mobile game. It’s not promotional for any other component of the Alien franchise. The slogan is the rallying cry for the activity that is going to touch upon Amanda Ripley’s story in the immediate future.”
Jefferson also stressed that a sequel to the 2014 video game Alien: Isolation is not in development, despite the promotion for Blackout giving some fans hope that this was the case.
So, where does this leave us with the Alien franchise? Well, in all in, things aren’t looking too good. Though there was hope a few years ago that District 9 helmsman Neill Blomkamp might direct a timeline-altering reboot that disregarded all of the events that followed on from the franchise’s first two entries, the project was ultimately shelved, despite getting the support of both Sigourney Weaver and James Cameron.
On top of that, the impending Fox/Disney deal could end up doing more harm than good, with a report last August from The Wall Street Journal suggesting that Disney may be looking to “scale back production of costly movies that don’t fit its family-friendly, franchise-focused formula.” It’s certainly hard to picture an R-rated Alien movie with a Disney logo on the poster, but as Weaver herself told THR last year, “you never know.” In the meantime, Alien: Blackout will be available from January 24th.