The Alien franchise has the resiliency of a xenomorph. It’s had good sequels, bad sequels, terrible spin-offs, and one prequel that wasn’t exactly a prequel. While Ridley Scott has been talking about making more than one Prometheus (Promethei? Prometheuses?) follow up, District 9 writer and director Neill Blomkamp doesn’t want you to forget that he’s trying to put together his own new Aliens movie. In order to help you remember, he’s dusting off some old friends, with new enhancements, and showing them off on social media.
Blomkamp’s Instagram account shows off the classic Aliens pulse rifle with a new feature. RIS, for those of you who don’t have a brother-in-law who knows guns, stands for Rail Integration System, the track along the top of the gun, on the right hand side of the image, which allows for different standardized accessories to be added to the rifle. That way, if you need to swap out your rifle-mounted flashlight for a laser sight without having to completely disassemble the thing, you can do that.
The original pulse rifle was the weapon of choice for the Colonial Marines of James Cameron’s Aliens, and Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley proved herself to be fairly handy with the weapon as well. Blomkamp has said that he wants his new film to be strongly connected to the first two Alien films, and additional rumors, like Michael Biehn’s potential involvement, combined with this new image, seem to point to Alien 5 being a guns-blazing, action-driven story, more like Cameron's sequel than the sci-fi thriller that was Ridley Scott’s original film. Check out this shot from Aliens for a prop comparison.
Scott is still working on his Prometheus sequel, recently retitled Alien: Paradise Lost, and is reportedly trying to get Blomkamp to slow down on Alien 5 so his film will hit first. It’s true that Blomkamp’s movie has been moving at Barry Allen like speed, at least in Hollywood terms. Only a few months ago that Blomkamp and Weaver were chatting about the series on the set of Chappie, and already we have a green light and practical props ready to go.
While things may be moving very quickly, fans of James Cameron’s science fiction action masterpiece will certainly be thrilled to see the old pulse rifle out of mothballs and given an upgrade. We can’t wait to see all the other ways the franchise will be polished up for another go.
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