So way back in January 2015 Neil Blomkamp made headlines by releasing a collection of concept art he personally commissioned for his own interpretation of a potential new Alien sequel. These high-quality images immediately sent fans into a frenzy and was reported by various worldwide media websites. At the time Blomkamp had insisted these art works were created 'just for fun' and that he 'simply wanted to share the artwork with fellow fans of the franchise' but it seems he had an ulterior motive and was testing the water with franchise owners 20th Century Fox. His ploy seemed to have worked and soon caught the attention of the studio. Things went quiet until the morning of February 18th when Blomkamp posted the above image with the caption; "So I think it's officially my next film!" Not long afterwards 20th Century Fox confirmed the news and the project was officially green lit.
Blomkamp went on to clarify that although the artwork was initially completely unsanctioned, he took it very seriously due to a fiercely passionate love for the franchise and a desire to try and make it a reality for his next project. At the time he was heavily invested in post-production on his latest picture Chappie and any downtime he had during sound mixing and visual effects editing was dedicated to his Alien concept. His creative juices were already overflowing thanks to numerous stories, theories and anecdotes he gained from Chappie star Sigourney Weaver on both the past and potential future of the Alien franchise, with Blomkamp making no secret that he took every opportunity on set to pester her for information.
Perhaps the icing on the cake came a few weeks later when it was announced that Sir Ridley Scott himself, director of the original Alien and 2012's much-maligned quasi-prequel Prometheus, would be producing Blomkamp's film.
Easily the most tantalising aspect of Blomkamp's artwork is the return of both Ellen Ripley and Corporal Dwayne Hicks. Interestingly both reflect the current ages of both Sigourney Weaver and Michael Biehn and raise the obvious questions of possible story retcons in relation to both Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection. Is it possible these films are to be ignored completely and Alien 5 will be in fact a spiritual sequel to James Cameron's Aliens, something a large majority of the fan base have wanted all along? Only time will tell, but perhaps the first clue is that Blomkamp has already confirmed the title of the movie will not be Alien 5. Read into that what you will...
I have been a huge fan of the Alien franchise and cannot wait to see where this project goes. As much as I adore the special edition of Alien 3, the idea of an alternate sequel furthering the adventures of Ripley, Hicks and hopefully the original derelict ship from LV-426 is a mouthwatering prospect.