There’s no need to trod back over why Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection were terrible films. (And they were. If you disagree you’re just wrong. And don’t even TALK to me about Aliens vs. Predator.) Killing off Hicks and Newt was a terrible decision, because it broke faith with the fans right at the start. And, though the director tried to do interesting things with it, the rest of the movie just wasn’t good enough to overcome that betrayal.
The franchise only declined after that, each succeeding movie being worse than the last. Then there came this, late last year: on Instagram, Neil Bloomkamp released several stills from his own conceptual work on a proper Aliens sequel, one which ignored Alien 3 and Resurrection entirely.
Ripley and Hicks. This is starting right!
The alien ship. People futzing with it. That can’t be good.
Whoah! That’s freaky. No clue what could be going on here, but I LIKE it.
Then the bad news: all these were concepts he’d been working on by himself, without input from Fox (the rights owners) or anyone else. Just a hobby, in other words.
Well, poop. What coulda been, but never was.
Fast forward a few weeks later, and the Internet was abuzz again because Fox had hired Bloomkamp to make this film (EXCITED!), but set “after Prometheus“, thus partaking of the crappiness of that particular half-assed deboot.
Excitement successfully killed. Thanks, Fox!
Then today, news that Bloomkamp’s film would serve as a proper sequel to Aliens, forming a complete trilogy: Alien, Aliens, this movie. And the news didn’t come from any supposed “insiders” (thanks for nothing, Variety!) but from the mouths of Bloomkamp and Sigourney Weaver herself!
EDIT: Apologies, the video seems to have been taken down by Sky Movies, who conducted the interviews with Bloomkamp and Sigourney Weaver, on the occasion of Bloomkamp’s Chappie. This video, by IGN news, recaps the critical portions of the interview.
So, a proper sequel that ignores Alien 3 and Resurrection, and Prometheus and the unreleased Prometheus 2? SIGN ME UP.
I’m serious. If he can deliver a compelling, cool, and proper sequel to Aliens, I’m sold. I’ll see it in the theaters. Twice, if I can manage it.
Of course, they haven’t even begun filming yet, and there’s many pitfalls along the path from inspiring concept art to an in-the-can classic. (Hey! A man can dream, can’t he?)
But by ditching the dead weight of the franchise, and going back to the last good movie set in that universe, Bloomkamp has at least started off on the right foot. Here’s hoping what comes out at the other end lives up to, or surpasses, the promise of the concept art.