If the title for this piece got you all excited about a fifth Aliens installment (no, I don't count AVP...it doesn't deserve it) starring Jim Carrey, you may want to stop reading. Not only do you need help, disappointment is all that lies ahead for you. If you were drawn by sheer morbid curiosity, read on. This ones all about the morbidly curious.

Franchise! Franchise! Franchise! It's the big buzz word in Hollywood these days. Nobody's making movies anymore, just freakin' franchises. If you aren't planning on making something that can readly be made in a sequel, trilogy or preferrably a long running series of films, studio's aren't likely to want to hear about it (unless of course it involves the words 'remake' or 'television show adaptation'). One upcoming franchise offering is going to revolve around a character named Ripley. No, Sigourney Weaver won't be involved.

This is a different Ripley, although one just as famous for being caught up in the world of the weird and often-dangerous. Robert Ripley is known as the man who immortalized the phrase "believe it or not" (which is probably why they stuck his name in front of it). It started as a weekly newspaper comic feature and then grew into a franchise of museums. Now it's going to be a franchise of movies! Yeah, I'm having a hard time getting excited too.

According to the Hollywood Reporter the script for the action-adventure flick has already been written and the story circulates around Ripley in his adventures to discover new and crazy oddities. He will be accompanied by a group of close friends, each of whom has a special ability. If I had to guess I'd call it a mix between The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Goonies. If the first movie does well, Paramount will move forward with a series of films.

The one bright spot in all this may be the names of the people attracted to the project. Tim Burton is negotiating to direct and Jim Carrey is up to play Mr. Ripley. The combination of Tim and Jim is simultaneously invigorating and frightening. Burton produced for Carrey's performance in Batman Forever but they've never shared a director/actor relationship. It's the kind of combination that can only end in absurdly unexpected success or tragically miserable disaster. Having fulfilled my quota of hyperbole for the day, I leave you to consider the ramifications of a Ripley franchise. It's going to happen, believe it or not.

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