To quote Bill Paxton from ALIENS, “We’re in some real pretty sh*t now.” You might think this quote refers to the state of our beloved ALIEN franchise. But I’m thinking of chaos. A return to atmospheric horror and heavy tension that the original film and James Cameron’s sequel delivered. I’m desperately hoping the NEW ALIEN SEQUEL will return to chaotic action and insane suspense.
The most exciting bit of news regarding another new ALIEN film is the director behind the lens. The mad scientist / creative genius of DISTRICT 9’s NEILL BLOMKAMP. Sure, his second film (ELYSIUM) wasn’t well received. But the man has vision. He has scope. He can set the stage. And his designs are (pun intended) out-of-this-world. If anyone was going to make a new film in the franchise I’m glad it’s him. Nerd-tastic!
The other week, Blomkamp playfully released conceptual designs for a new ALIENS. At the time he said he just made them “for fun”. Well, sometimes playtime pays off. The execs at FOX must have liked his vision because he’s signed up to helm his very own ALIENS. That, and maybe SIGOURNEY WEAVER (one of the stars in Blomkamp’s upcoming CHAPPIE) had something to do with it. I think she felt a little disappointed in Ripley’s final chapter. And she’s right. Ripley is one of the greatest cinematic heroes ever. She needs a fitting farewell.
It will be interesting to see how or if this new movie will tie into RIDLEY SCOTT’s continuation in the series, PROMETHEUS 2. I’d like to see these worlds meld more directly than the first in this set of prequels. I was one of the few who really dug PROMETHEUS. I liked the mysterious backstory, even if I had to participate and connect a lot of those dots myself.
I wonder who will share the screen alongside Ripley. There are several young starlets that save the day in blockbusters now. I’m thinking of JENNIFER LAWRENCE in the HUNGER GAMES movies. She has an opening in her schedule with the finale of the insanely popular young adult series. And then there’s someone like SHAILENE WOODLEY from the DIVERGENT series. Wouldn’t it be great to see either of them in something so intense and terrifying as an ALIENS movie? Both have proven they can handle dramatic movies just as well as action. Now let’s see how they react to something like (original designer) HR GIGER’s ALIEN.
Check out these rumours…
At first, when the rumours hit the Interwebs, it seemed like Blomkamp hinted at this proposed new film as a direct sequel to Cameron’s ALIENS. Movie nerds were enthused. They hated ALIEN3 and RESURRECTION (which –NERD FACT ALERT– was written by JOSS WHEDON). They wanted HICKS back (the lead male from ALIENS played by MICHAEL BIEHN). He needed his own (much more) fitting farewell than DAVID FINCHER’s part 3 gave him. The thing is, Blomkamp’s quote was taken out of context. What he meant was this new ALIENS would be more of a spiritual successor to the original two films.
What’s that mean, SlipNerd? Well, to me it suggests ATMOSPHERE. I’m thinking dark corridors full of steam. The impending doom of a surprise encounter with the beast. Terror. Suspense. Tension. HORROR. The last half of the franchise seemed to focus more on spectacle or action. You could argue they went overboard. Too many aliens. Too many characters. Too much plot.
The brilliance of RIDLEY SCOTT’s original ALIEN was the idea of a haunted house movie in space. Instead of stuck in a house with no escape, our heroes were surrounded by the void of space – where “no one can hear you scream.” There was one alien. It was lethal. A silent stealth assassin. A specter of the night like any good haunting. All our heroes could do was hide. Stick together. And somehow try to survive.
That wasn’t all either. There was also the infection angle. You could get impregnated with an alien. It would use you as a host – a birthing vessel of sorts. Of course this lethal equation equals more aliens. If one is deadly, how could our blue collar crew of truckers in space possibly survive an army? Well, JAMES CAMERON answered that with his arguably superior sequel… NERD ALERT 2000: My favourite is still the original.
ALIEN was terrifying because of its atmosphere, its visuals, its music, its sound design, its creatures. Scott’s masterpiece was the perfect blend of elements in a new sub-genre that has since grown tired and stale.
BLOMKAMP is fresh… He has the right eye to reinvigorate the ALIEN franchise. He could steer it in a new direction and bring it back to a place of respect, earning back its rightful spot in our nerdy little hearts.
What do you think? Leave a comment below…
You speak, I hear…
Should Hollywood stop remaking / sequalizing old properties like ALIENS?
Is NEILL BLOMKAMP the right director to re-imagine the series?
Do you want RIDLEY SCOTT filming these movies?
Do you remember the original trailer for ALIEN? It’s so influential. Striking. And Powerful… CHECK IT OUT… And crank those speakers… Wow! I’m so pumped up after watching that! It’s still scary as Hell! What do you think?
Are you looking forward to PROMETHEUS 2?
Who should co-star alongside SIGOURNEY WEAVER as ass-kicker extraordinaire ELLEN RIPLEY?