Wait, Is James Cameron Returning To The Alien Franchise?

Xenomorph in Aliens

Seven years after Ridley Scott’s Alien was released to the masses, James Cameron left his stamp on the sci-fi franchise with Aliens, a sequel that was received just as positively, if not more so, than its predecessor. Aliens still marks Cameron’s only contribution to this mythology, but he recently alluded that he might be jumping back into this world. When asked if he could give Neil Blomkamp a call about making a new Alien movie, Cameron answered:

I’m working on that, yeah.

James Cameron delivered this short, but intriguing comment while speaking with IGN at the Alita: Battle Angel red carpet. This is hardly official confirmation that Cameron is working with the Alien franchise again, and it’s possible he was just making a joke. Still, the fact that he acknowledged that specific query rather than brushed it off is noteworthy. After all, given that Cameron recently returned to the Terminator franchise after over two decades away to aid director Tim Miller with Terminator 6, it’s not unreasonable to think he could do the same with Alien.

Back in 2015, it was announced that District 9 director Neil Blomkamp would helm a new Alien movie. Sigourney Weaver, who was dissatisfied with how 1997’s Alien: Resurrection left the franchise, was set to reprise Ellen Ripley, and the unofficially-known Alien 5 would tie into the events of James Cameron’s Aliens without retconning the two movies that followed it. However, by 2017, Blomkamp, Ridley Scott, who had returned to the franchise to direct the prequels Prometheus and Alien: Covenant, announced that Alien 5 had been cancelled, though last fall, Weaver said that she and Cameron were still interested in the project.

As things stand right now, a sequel to Alien: Covenant, tentatively titled Alien: Awakening, is still in development, although there’s been no official update on its progress lately. Ridley Scott previously expressed interest in shifting focus away from extraterrestrial creatures and more on artificial intelligence, and it was reported late last year that Awakening’s story would see the Engineers seeking revenge against David, which would result in the action eventually heading to the planet LV-426, thus finally connecting these prequels to Alien and Aliens.

However, given Alien: Covenant’s mixed critical reception and underwhelming box office performance, it’s possible the folks at Fox might want to pivot away from concluding Ridley Scott’s prequel narrative and reviving a proper Alien sequel, ideally with Neil Blomkamp on board, hence why James Cameron said he’s “working on that.” Hopefully we’ll get a proper update on what’s happening sooner rather than later.

Whether or not James Cameron is returning to the Alien franchise, he’s certainly not having trouble keeping busy. Besides producing Terminator 6, he’s also hard at work on the Avatar sequels, with Avatar 2 finally slated to hit theaters on December 18, 2020. Rest assured, if there is any major news on the Alien franchise, we here at CinemaBlend will be sure to let you know.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.