Why James Cameron Probably Won't Direct Another Alien Movie

Today is "Alien Day" which, much like "Back to the Future Day," is really just an excuse to celebrate a well-loved movie franchise. We don’t really need the excuse, we’ll geek out over Aliens any time you like, but if you need a reason, now you’ve got it. 2016 is the 30th anniversary of James Cameron’s Aliens, one of the greatest sci-fi action movies of all time. There’s a lot going on in the world of the Alien franchise these days and so you might wonder if there’s a place for Cameron to get back involved with the Xenomorphs. Unfortunately, he’s apparently a little too involved with the Na’vi to do something like that.

As part of their own Alien Day celebration, Famous Monsters published a few excerpts from their upcoming interview with James Cameron. They asked him if he’d ever return to the world of Aliens and, while he didn’t discount the possibility entirely, he certainly made it sound highly unlikely.

Unless somebody could come up with some spectacularly new concept. … I’ve got my own kind of alien world that I’m enslaved to now with the Avatar films, so I can pretty much rule that out.

To say that James Cameron is "enslaved" to the Avatar franchise may be the understatement of the century. The sequels that Cameron has planned have been in pre-production since nearly the day after the first film was released, and yet nothing ever seems to move forward. At the same time, Cameron plans for the franchise only get bigger. He recently announced that we would be getting four new Avatar movies between now and 2023, as opposed to the three that had previously been announced, and all this while the release date of Avatar 2 keeps getting pushed back. Regardless, if he plans to stay busy with Avatar for the next seven years, there's really no time to make any Alien movies.

The originator of the Alien franchise is returning to the world with Ridley Scott’s upcoming Prometheus sequel/Alien prequel, Alien: Covenant. That film is currently scheduled to begin filming later this year. If there is hope for an Aliens-esque film, it’s probably in the sequel that Neill Blomkamp has been working on. That script has been put on the back burner to make way for Scott’s movie; but based on what we’ve seen, it looks like the plan would be for Blomkamp’s version to be more Cameron Aliens than Scott Alien.


A photo posted by on

Both of the first two Alien movies are well loved by fans but are very different films. Are you a bigger fan of the Ridley Scott outer space horror movie, or the James Cameron space marine military action? Would you like to see James Cameron get involved in the franchise again? Let us know in the comments. 

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.