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Neill Blomkamp has, to no one's surprise, been in the news quite a bit in the past couple of weeks. Unfortunately for poor old Chappie, who's set to make friends with the world next week, the film press seems a little more interested in talking about Blomkamp's next project. Considering that project deals with reviving the Alien franchise for one last ride, who can blame them? Especially when the latest word from the man himself is that this new, and presumably final, chapter will work within the continuity of the original series run.
French site AlloCine had the chance to speak with Blomkamp on a red carpet, and despite previous reports from certain outlets that suggested the film would be overriding the events of Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection, the District 9 director made it clear that the complete opposite is the case. He told the reporter,
I’m not trying to undo or Alien Resurrection…My favorites are the first two movies. I want to make a film that’s connected to Alien and Aliens. That’s my goal.
So while Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection might stay in the canon of Alien films, that doesn't necessarily mean that Neil Blomkamp has to pay them too much mind in his new story. We've already seen concept art he released on Instagram showing a rather dynamite Ripley teaming with a somehow back-from-the-dead Colonel Hicks (who was played by Michael Biehn in Aliens. This isn’t a problem if Alien Resurrection is still in play, because the same cloning experiments that brought Ripley back to life hundreds of years after Alien 3 could have very easily turned Hicks into the Alien equivalent of Boba Fett. This means the military and the Weyland Yutani Corporation could be sharing a perfect clone army of Michael Biehn replicas, waiting for their orders (yes please).
Of course, there's another, less feasible option that ComingSoon hopes could be in the works: Alien 5 could be a midquel between two of the pre-existing films. While it might be too early to rule anything out, it's not too early to think that this idea would be extremely ill-advised. Not only would this be a more expensive film to make, with tons of CGI manipulation needed to turn the clock 30+ years on both Sigourney Weaver and Michael Biehn, it would also directly conflict Blomkamp's wishes not to alter any of the previous Alien or Prometheus films.
Alien 5 seems to be the film that Sigourney Weaver has been wishing to make for years. After over a decade of hoping, she and Ridley Scott (in a producing role) could give Ellen Ripley the send-off she deserves. Considering Weaver and Neill Blomkamp are both celebrating the forthcoming opening of Chappie, it's a safe bet that Weaver considers the franchise to be in safe hands. After Blomkamp's admission of guilt involving the suckage that was Elysium, it's not as big of a stretch to think that his chops could bring glory to the Alien franchise.
Chappie opens next Friday, with Alien 5 going into production in the assumable future. Clear your schedule, Louis C.K!