From Pipe Dream to Reality: Neill Blomkamp Officially Directing New ‘Alien’ Film

By February 19, 2015
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When we discussed the recent statements by Chappie and Elysium director Neill Blomkamp about the possibilities of his Alien concept art actually being turned into a film, we were pretty sure that the possibility, though endlessly interesting, was a ways off, presuming it were possible at all. It turns out that sometimes, though, even the only remotely possible can come to pass, and this is an instance where the news should be good for Alien franchise fans, science fiction fans, and general film fans alike.

According to a report from Variety last night, Neill Blomkamp will in fact be directing a new Alien film from 20th Century Fox, which he confirmed himself via an Instagram post. While it was initially believed that the possible new Alien film and the sequel to 2012’s Prometheus would create a scenario with one being produced over the other, the report makes clear that this isn’t the case, as both films will be developed separately. Blomkamp will direct the new Alien film, which is said to take place “years after” the Prometheus sequel, and Ridley Scott is still developing the sequel to the film loosely based on the Alien franchise but still taking place in the same universe.

Blomkamp's concept art prominently featured both Ellen Ripley and Dwayne Hicks, originally played by Sigourney Weaver and Michael Biehn, respectively.

Blomkamp’s concept art prominently featured both Ellen Ripley and Dwayne Hicks, originally played by Sigourney Weaver and Michael Biehn, respectively.

While some rumors seem to be pegging the new film to take place after the events of Aliens but before Alien 3, it would be very difficult to reconcile the continuity of events if, like Blomkamp’s featured concept art that started these rumors in the first place, it features Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley and Michael Biehn’s Dwayne Hicks characters. Still, Blomkamp attributed much of the enthusiasm for doing an Alien film to Weaver, with whom he worked on his new film Chappie.

The Variety report specifically mentions that the new film “takes place years after the Prometheus sequel,” perhaps giving us a small hint as to greater connective tissue between the Prometheus and Alien franchises. The first Prometheus seemed to see the creation of a sort of proto-Xenomorph, though in an interview last year with Yahoo! Movies, Scott seemed to say that the eponymous aliens would not be featured at all in his upcoming sequel. Still, plans could change, and given 20th Century Fox’s desire for Blomkamp to re-energize the classic leg of the franchise, perhaps some narrative unity may be in order. That’s just speculation, though.

The South African-born director, who made his name with 2009’s wonderful sci-fi thriller District 9, seems uniquely suited to bring the world of Alien back to life. At one point he was attached to an adaptation of the popular video game franchise Halo, but his gritty sensibility and attention to character seems like it would make an excellent fit for the Alien universe. The last solo Alien film, Resurrection, received mix reviews, and largely contributed to the dormancy of the solo franchise until Prometheus‘ release in 2012.

Speaking as a massive fan of the Alien franchise, this definitely seems worth getting excited about, especially if it means the cinematic return of one of the absolute best action heroes ever created in Ellen Ripley. For more on the new Alien film and the Prometheus sequel as they happen, keep it locked on GeekNation!

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Chris Clow
As a former comics retailer at a store in the Pacific Northwest, Chris Clow is an enormous sci-fi, comics, and film geek. He is a freelance contributor, reviewer, podcaster, and overall geek to GeekNation, Batman-On-Film.com, The Huffington Post, and Movies.com. He also hosts the monthly Comics on Consoles broadcast and podcast. Check out his blog, and follow him on Twitter @ChrisClow.