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. In fact, not too long ago, Scott levelled on the project, saying that it wasn’t moving forward. Just in case you were still holding out hope though, Blomkamp has now spoken up as well, telling The Verge in a recent interview that the project is “totally dead.”
I think it’s totally dead, yes. That would be an accurate assumption at this point. It’s sad. I spent a long time working on that, and I feel like it was really pretty awesome. But politically, the way it’s gone now, and the way that it all is — it’s just not going to live.
Further in the interview, the director noted that part of the reason he’s not pushing ahead with Alien 5 is also out of respect for Ridley Scott and the world he created.
Ridley was one of my idols growing up. He’s so talented and he’s made this film that really set me off in a direction. I want to just be as respectful and not go stamping around in this world that he created. I think that if the circumstances were different, and I didn’t feel like I was getting too close to something that he obviously feels a massive personal connection to, that things that may have played out differently. But I did want to be as respectful as possible.
Frankly, this is all very unfortunate, and it’s pretty clear that it was Scott who killed Alien 5. Clearly, he 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 planning 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.