This is how director Neill Blomkamp chose to announce to the world that he would be directing the next instalment in the science-fiction franchise Alien. No wonder it is such a necessity to be on Instagram or Twitter nowadays if you do not want to be caught asleep when some big news breaks out like this one! Coming back to the topic on hand, it is hardly surprising that Blomkamp has been handed this task. Not too long ago, he had shown his keenness to work on the Alien project when he had released a few concept arts on Instagram, though he had added “Was working on this. Don’t think I am anymore.” Well, Fox had other ideas and Blomkamp is on board now. And as for his concept arts, this one of a pissed off Xenomorph Queen is quite epic.
The Alien franchise, which began in 1979, has grown to massive proportions over the years. What began under the steady guidance of Ridley Scott, was continued by the likes of James Cameron, David Fincher and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, with the last movie releasing in 1997. There have been two crossovers with the Predator series, though one would call these movies a B-grade action sci-fi flick at best. Then Ridley Scott brought things back to life with 2013’s Prometheus which acted somewhat as a prequel to 1979’s Alien. There is a sequel to Prometheus being directed by Scott which will release in 2016. The new Alien movie under Blomkamp will however have nothing to do with Prometheus series and would instead function as a continuation of the original Alien series. So you could call it Alien 5 for now.
Neill Blompkamp is a terrific choice to take over this franchise, and while I may be jumping the gun in saying this, but he does appear to belong to the next set of directors who can take sci-fi to another level. If you have seen District 9, you are bound to agree with me. District 9 was Blomkamp’s debut as a director, and the movie’s surprise success spread his name far and wide. The movie was a crazy imaginative piece of work which was excellently executed in front of the cameras. The story of aliens living as immigrants on Earth, confined in one colony, seeking ways to escape, not only had sci-fi elements but also evoked compassion; the complications that arose when a human accidentally starts transforming into an alien brilliantly added a thrill and tension to the film. Made without any big stars and on a budget of only $30 million, District 9 earned seven times that tally at the box-office worldwide. Neill Blomkamp’s story, vision and direction was well-received and he has grown in stature since his 2009 debut.
Elysium was Blomkamp’s second movie which released in 2013, though it was not of the standard of District 9. But it at least drove home the point that Blomkamp is a sci-fi nerd, and a good one too. In Elysium, Blomkamp took us to the future, to the year 2154, where the very wealthy people live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth. The story revolved around Max played by Matt Damon who takes on a mission that could bring equality to the two worlds. It was a brave effort by Blomkamp, backed by a higher budget of $115 million, though the movie managed a so-so performance on the box-office. Now we have Chappie releasing in March 2015. It’s another crazy sci-fi story written by Blomkamp which seems exciting from its brief premise.
In the near future, crime is patrolled by an oppressive mechanized police force. When one police droid, Chappie, is stolen and given new programming, he becomes the first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself.
The movie stars Hugh Jackman, a big enough reason to buy the ticket. And it also has Sigourney Weaver, ahem, Ellen Ripley of the Alien series! It has not been announced yet as to whether Sigourney Weaver will return for Alien 5 or not, but frankly, it seems impossible to think of a movie of the Alien franchise without her. It would be as empty as it would have been without the aliens! The fact that Blomkamp and Weaver have been working together on Chappie would surely have played a part in Blomkamp getting this job. A good word from Sigourney Weaver would have helped, eh!? Blomkamp will definitely have a role for Ellen Ripley in his mind, but let’s wait for the official announcement on this one. No release date set as of now, though 2017 seems good enough to speculate on.
We will leave it at that then. Interesting and exciting news, which would have been loved by all sci-fi fans. It looks like this partnership could work out for the best, both for Neill Blomkamp and the Alien series. Early days still, so we wait to hear more…