While the Alien franchise has gone through a lot since it first began, even the films that were not met with universal acclaim have done little to dampen the spirits of fans. It seems like there's always going to be interest in new Alien films, and recently we learned that there is potentially an actual idea to get excited about. Franchise producer Walter Hill has worked on a treatment for Alien 5 and now we know a bit more about it, as Hill has revealed that the movie's future will depend entirely on whether Sigourney Weaver gets on board.
Recently, Sigourney Weaver made comments about the script treatment that implied that maybe her time as Ellen Ripley was done. However, Walter Hill tells SyFy Wire that the actress isn't giving enough credit to her own ability. He also says that the "destiny" of Weaver's character is key to the new film. According to Hill...
Sigourney, as she has from the very beginning, is being too modest about her proven ability to pull off the idea — which is to tell a story that scares the pants off your date, kicks the ass of a new Xenomorph, and conducts a meditation on both the universe of the Alien franchise and the destiny of the character of Lt. Ellen Ripley.
Theoretically, an Alien 5 movie could simply take place after the last film, and not necessarily include Ellen Ripley as a character. That would be one way to continue the franchise, but it seems that's not the plan here. This idea isn't just a continuation of the franchise, but a continuation of Ellen Ripley's story.
It turns out that this script treatment was co-written by Walter Hill and another producer who has been around the Alien franchise from the beginning, David Giler. That's certainly a solid pedigree that is likely to get any even moderate fans to take notice.
The Alien franchise is in a bit of limbo at the moment. Director Ridley Scott, who started it all, has expressed interest in continuing his prequel franchise which left off with Alien: Covenant in 2017, but we haven't heard of any real movement on another film. Director Neill Blomkamp was, at one time working on an Alien project that was being called Alien 5 which would have potentially rebooted some history, picking up after the events of James Cameron's Aliens, but telling an entirely new story. In the end, the studio had to make a decision between making Scott's Alien: Covenant or Blomkamp's Alien 5, and Scott won out.
At the time, Sigourney Weaver seemed very interested in the Blomkamp idea, more so than she seems to be now, at least. It's possible that enough time has passed since then that Weaver is just generally less interested in going back to the Alien franchise, or it could be she's just less interested in this particular project.
The fact that there will be more Alien movies seems obvious. The franchise still has a passionate fan base, and that means box office success is always a strong possibility. Whether or not we ever see this movie will depend on a lot of things, and even Sigourney Weaver saying yes doesn't guarantee this movie will ever happen, but it seems that if she says no, it will guarantee that it won't.