When it was announced that director Neill Blomkamp would, in fact, be making the fifth film in the Alien franchise, there was a lot that we had heard about where exactly the story would be set, and how it would approach the continuity of the films. Because the director labelled it as being more “connected” to the first two films in the series, a lot of outlets — including this one — assumed that would mean that the events of the series’ third and fourth films would be either ignored or undone (“retconned”) altogether. Blomkamp has now gone on record to say that this isn’t the case.
According to an interview with French outlet AlloCiné, Blomkamp’s film will have more connective tissue between the first two films in the series — 1979’s Alien and 1986’s Aliens — but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the events or narratives of 1992’s Alien 3 and 1997’s Alien Resurrection will be undone by his new effort. He said,
My favorites are the first two movies, so I want to make a film that’s connected to Alien and Aliens. That’s my goal. I’m not trying to undo Alien 3 or Alien Resurrection; I just want it to be connected to Alien 1 and 2.
Under normal circumstances, it would be easy to take those words at face value, but there’s a bit of a catch: Ellen Ripley is expected to return in this new film, and Ripley was killed at the end of Alien 3. Resurrection, which took place over two centuries after the third film, featured a clone of the original Ripley, allowing Weaver to return for the fourth outing. Placing this new film in proximity with the first two films seems like it would be inherently difficult giving the ending of Aliens, which saw Ripley, the marine Hicks, the android Bishop, and the girl Newt enter hypersleep.
Making a viable film with Weaver where she’s obviously much older, and having it take place between the second and third films seems like it would require a lot of interesting narrative wizardry if the continuity’s integrity is maintained as it currently stands in the film series. Still, matters seem even more mysterious when taking Weaver’s own words into account about how the film will be done, and what it means for the Ripley character.
I think we left a series that’s quite beloved just sort of literally hanging in the air. I didn’t like the way it was going. I think it’s hard to manufacture a good story just because they want to make another one. I guess I always wanted to complete this story, and it wasn’t really ’til Neill and I started talking that I thought, ‘This is why we’ve waited however many years it’s been.’
When she says she wanted to “complete this story,” it sounds as if she’s talking about some kind of finale. How can you create a finale for Ripley by having the new film take place before her death on Fury 161? We’ll just have to wait and see, but things are certainly about to get more interesting in the Alien franchise.
Blomkamp and Weaver’s latest film, Chappie, opens this coming Friday. For more on Alien 5 as it develops, keep an eye on GeekNation!
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