Sir Ridley Scott’s Alien has been widely hailed as a masterpiece, but many fans actually prefer James Cameron’s action-packed sequel Aliens. Regardless of which side of the fence you land on, there’s no denying that the franchise has struggled since then thanks to the disappointing third and fourth instalments and the mixed response to so-called prequel, Prometheus.
Throw in the abysmal Alien Vs. Predator movies and to say that Scott’s Alien: Covenant may end up making or breaking the series would be an understatement. However, one person who thinks that the time of the Xenomorphs is at an end is Cameron, who said in a recent interview that he believes “we’ve moved on” from the Alien franchise.
“The franchise has kind of wandered all over the map. Ridley [Scott] did the first film, and he inspired an entire generation of filmmakers and science-fiction fans with that one movie and there have been so many films that stylistically have derived from it, including my own Aliens, which was the legitimate sequel and, I think, the proper heir to his film. I sort of did it as a fanboy. I wanted to honor his film, but also say what I needed to say. After that, I don’t take any responsibility.
I don’t think it’s worked out terribly well. I think we’ve moved on beyond it. It’s like, okay, we’ve got it, we’ve got the whole Freudian biomechanoid meme. I’ve seen it in 100 horror films since. I think both of those films stand at a certain point in time, as a reference point. But is there any validity to doing another one now? I don’t know. Maybe. Let’s see, jury’s out. Let’s see what Ridley comes up with. Let me just add to that — and don’t cut this part off, please — I will stand in line for any Ridley Scott movie, even a not-so-great one, because he is such an artist, he’s such a filmmaker. I always learn from him. And what he does with going back to his own franchise would be fascinating.”
While it would be easy to laugh off the director’s comments after he endorsed 2015’s Terminator: Genisys, he makes a fair point, especially as it feels like the attempts to extend this series are entirely driven by box office takings rather than any sort of need to continue the story. Still, Alien: Covenant definitely looks like something special and could be a turning point for the struggling franchise.
Of course, we won’t know for sure until it slithers into theaters on May 19th, but for now, we’ll remain hopeful and try not to let cynicism get in the way. The Alien series is one of the most iconic in all of cinema and it’d be a real shame to see it ruined by half-baked sequels simply looking to cash in on the name.