The ALIEN franchise has been going through some drama over the years, and if rumors are true, that drama might come to a close for the foreseeable future.
This is based on news coming out of AVPGalaxy that features some choice quotes from Ridley Scott. The headline grabber is that he believes “There’s no reason why Alien should now not be on the same level for fans as Star Trek and Star Wars”. Of course, this is a bold claim from a bold director who did help birth this franchise back in 1979 when the original ALIEN came out and spawned a series of sequels that culminated in the release of ALIEN: Covenant this year.
However, the movie did “ok” at the box office and a unnamed source is sighted as saying that production has been shut down and a “warehouse storage unit full of stuff was auctioned off”. That’s pretty much the opposite of turning ALIENS into the next great movie franchise, but maybe it’s time to let it die.
I say this as a fan, of course. I have a deep appreciation for the movies, comics, and lore these movies have inspired. I’ve written about them plenty for this site (such as this H.R Giger/ALIEN appreciation post) and have spent countless hours discussing the various aspects/themes that go on in this amazing microcosm of pop culture.
But frankly, it’s time for it to die. Or go into advanced hypersleep. Everything after the first two films has been a half-assed attempt to capture the terror of the original, despite the incredible talents brought together to bring these movies to screen. We are talking about industry titans like David Fincher, Joss Whedon, and even repeat tries by Ridley Scott. Fincher’s Alien 3 was crippled by studio meddling and most likely still would have been a disappointment if he had had his way given it was a huge downer after the action masterpiece that was the first sequel, ALIENS (1986). Meanwhile ALIEN: Resurrection (1997), which Whedon wrote, was a silly joke of a movie that was entertaining at best. Scott’s return to the franchise with Prometheus was 3/4’s of a good film but derailed by an obsession with NOT being an ALIEN movie. Not to mention the characters who consistently make stupid decisions forced on them by a bad plot. Finally, ALIEN: Covenant, Scott’s directorial “do-over” is a thinly veiled remake of Prometheus that tries very hard to answer a bunch of questions positively no one asked.
Even worse is that Neil Blomkamp’s attempt at making his version of an ALIEN film was killed to make way for Ridley Scott’s repeated attempts to reboot the franchise. Feel free to check out this classic post from AAGG to catch up on what would have been. For those not inclined to click, Blomkamp’s project would have been the sequel to ALIENS fans have been waiting 30 years for. But like so many good ideas, it was cast aside and what we’re left with is a franchise that has been ran into a brick wall — creatively and financially.
That is, IF the rumors are true. And I am inclined to believe they are because of a Mickey Mouse shaped elephant in the room that is about to swallow 20th Century Fox whole. Yes, I mean Disney, and as we all know they are not big proponents of anything rated R, and it is easy to imagine how they would be sour about making a movie that needs to have a monster popping out of someone’s chest for it to be canon. Thor’s hammer this is not.
So it’s not looking good for everyone’s favorite Xenomorph, but that is ok. Everything must run its course, even space monsters. And maybe it’s best that it will go into hypersleep and be reborn later. Or, just maybe, slip silently into the tight vaults of film history. In the meantime I am going to gladly play ALIEN and ALIENS on repeat, enjoying these perfect, terror-inducing sci-fi classics the way they should be: Without prequels and additional sequels.