It was only back in January that we learned that District 9 and Elysium helmer, Neill Blomkamp was developing an Alien sequel that would reunite both Sigourney Weaver's Ripley and Michael Biehn's Corporal Hicks.
There's been confusion ever since that announcement about what the movie would be, who would be involved and what it would mean for Ridley Scott's Prometheus sequel. So what exactly is going on with the Alien franchise?
Is there going to be an Alien 5?
Yes. Well, maybe. The project was in active development since February this year when Blomkamp released concept art on twitter from the Alien sequel he'd pitched to 20th Century Fox. Although Blomkamp initially tweeted the images with a disappointing message to suggest he wouldn't be working on the project anymore, the fan reaction to the concept art caused 20th Century Fox to do a U-turn and in a month Blompkamp took to social media to announce that the Alien sequel would be his next film.
So what is Alien 5 all about then?
Plot details are limited so far. What we do know is that according to the concept art, the film is going to see the return of both Ripley and Corporal Hicks from James Cameron's Aliens.
With regards to how it would fit into the Alien canon it was suggested that it would pick up after the events of Aliens and just ignore what happened in Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection which is no bad thing if you ask us.
What does Ridley think of all this?
Although reportedly not all that pleased with the idea of an Alien sequel initially, it seemed like Scott had made peace with the idea, even coming on board as a producer. However, it now seems that he was only in support of the idea as long as it didn't effect his Prometheus sequel.
Come now! You know this already. Scott has been developing a sequel to 2012's Prometheus for some time now. With Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace both expected to return and Mission Impossible 5's Rebecca Ferguson also expected to have a role. The project had been referred to as "Prometheus 2" until September when Scott revealed the title of the movie would actually be Alien: Paradise Lost.
Still with us? So all was rosy. An Alien prequel AND sequel were in the works and on their way to our local theaters. UNTIL last month when Blomkamp revealed on twitter that his project was being stalled until after the release of Alien: Paradise Lost. Which makes sense considering his last effort, Chappie, didn't exactly set the world on fire, while Ridley is so hot right now after the success of The Martian. Considering the original Prometheus wasn't exactly the game changer many hoped it would be, we can understand why 20th Century Fox would want to test the waters with just one new Alien movie before pushing ahead with Blomkamp's sequel.
So when is Alien: Paradise Lost coming out then?
You mean Alien: Covenant.
Great! Any plot details?
You betcha. Fox were also kind enough to release a brief synopsis along with the title.
- Ridley Scott returns to the universe he created in ALIEN with ALIEN: COVENANT, the second chapter in a prequel trilogy that began with PROMETHEUS — and connects directly to Scott’s 1979 seminal work of science fiction. Bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, the crew of the colony ship Covenant discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world — whose sole inhabitant is the "synthetic" David (Michael Fassbender), survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition. -
Cool! So Fassbender is back but no Rapace?
Nothing has been confirmed yet but the fact that her character isn't mentioned in the synopsis and that Fassbender's David is referred to as the "sole inhabitant" of the planet doesn't sound like good news for Elizabeth Shaw.
Did someone say trilogy?
Yes! So apparently Alien: Covenant is the second part of a trilogy of sequels that will feed into the original Alien. Whether or not that third part of the trilogy comes before or after Blomkamp's Alien 5 is unclear for now but it will be very interesting to see how things develop once Alien: Covenant arrives in theaters.