Dream projects sometimes live up to their name, either by running so smoothly you can't believe it, or that they stay in your dreams and never become a reality. Apologies to you Neill Blomkamp fans out there, as his Alien 5 project is now officially, for the time, suspended in dream land.
In a statement on his Twitter feed this evening, Blomkamp announced the following in regards to the status of Alien 5:
It's been no secret that Alien: Paradise Lost, Ridley Scott's follow-up to Prometheus, has been the priority project when it comes to the two Alien universe pictures set up at 20th Century Fox. Even Scott himself was trying to put Blomkamp's continuation of Ellen Ripley's story on hold, at least until after his second prequel was out of pre-production. Something tells us that after the success of The Martian, the famed director's stock rose high enough to compel the studio to officially give him the upper hand.
It certainly doesn't help that while Neill Blomkamp got his career off to a prestigious, alien-centric start, with his 2010 film District 9, he squandered that head start on under-performers such as Elysium and Chappie. While both films cleared their budget, as well as a tidy profit, neither were the juggernaut that his debut was with critics and audiences alike. Though, to be fair, Blomkamp is a dyed-in-the-wool Alien fan, who has been designing the fourth sequel to the Ripley storyline for quite some time. So it's not like this is a half-baked idea that's being rushed into production.
Still, with Ridley Scott trying to backfill the Prometheus half of the universe and Blomkamp working the later end of the time line, there needs to be a logical progression from one half of the overall arc to the other. On that basis alone, Scott would clearly have the right of way, as he is one of the original shepherds of the franchise. With his skillful direction on 1979's Alien kick-starting the whole universe's creation, it only makes sense to give the wheel over to the guy who drove us to the dance... even if that dance has substituted the punch with a mysterious looking egg.
As for Neill Blomkamp, he's obviously got "other things" in the works. What they could be, we really don't know. Considering most of the post-Chappie conversation in Blomkamp's life has been about Alien 5, we're kind of wondering if these other things aren't as solid as his entry into the world of Xenomorphs and Colonial Marines was. Our hearts really go out to the man, as being given your dream gig, only to have it postponed, is something that we wouldn't wish on even our worst enemy.
In the meantime, we do have Alien: Paradise Lost to look forward to, as it's scheduled for a May 30, 2017 release date.