Just give him a reason...
It's been over 17 years since we last saw Ripley on the big screen in Alien: Resurrection. Since then, rumours of a potential Alien 5 have periodically popped up, like a freshly-chest-burst xenomorph slathering after new flesh.
While those rumours are often fuelled by the likes of Sigourney Weaver (I feel a longing from fans for the story to be finished. I could imagine a situation where we finish telling the story, she said in 2014) and Ridley Scott, the most recent person to stoke the fires was Neill Blomkamp. On 2 January, the director of District 9 and Elysium revealed a stockpile of concept art he'd been working on that would have continued Ripley's story.
Woulda rocked, the filmmaker said on Instagram, revealing that his idea was a mental stroll into the world Ridley Scott created. Though Blomkamp's art really does rock, don't get too excited he was doing it for fun, rather than on commission from 20th Century Fox. Considering just how awesome the imagery is, though, Fox could do far, far worse than getting behind Blomkamp on this one. Here's why his ideas would make for an amazing Alien 5...
It has Ripley AND Hicks...
One of the most squee-inducing images Blomkamp posted was of Ripley reunited with none other than Hicks (Michael Biehn), last seen alive in Aliens, but mercilessly offed during the opening credits of Alien 3.
For those who played SEGA's Aliens: Colonial Marines, Hicks' return is perhaps less of a surprise that game retconned his death to return him to action against the xenos once more. If Alien: Resurrection taught us anything, though, it's that in this franchise, dead doesn't always mean dead.
It's unclear if Blomkamp has a script or outline for his Alien film, but this shot hints that the crux of the action would revolve around the Ripley/Hicks reunion. That would be a massive coup for franchise fankids, who have singled out Hicks' (and Newt's) ill-treatment in Alien 3 as the point at which the Alien films slipped into mediocrity. In short: bringing him back (replete with facial burn) would be AMAZING.
(On a side-note, there's no sign of Newt or Winona Ryder's Call in the artwork. Are we only allowed one resurrection per movie?)
Blomkamp takes sci-fi seriously...
It doesn't get much more serious than apartheid, but in District 9, Blomkamp took that politically-juiced historical event and ran with it into blistering sci-fi terrain. The result was genre fare that boasted serious grey matter, quickly establishing D9 as THE film to watch in 2009.
What does that mean for the Alien franchise? Well, Alien: Resurrection came under fire for its comic-book goofiness, and Blomkamp seems like just the man to strap a new pair on the franchise and get it back to its dark, space-trucker roots.
He clearly has ideas to burn. The sketch of Ripley (we're assuming it's the hybrid Ripley 8 from Alien: R) donning a xeno exo-suit is a stroke of genius (see the first slide). Ripley 8 was the best thing about Alien: R, and Blomkamp's clearly taken with the concept of her dual identity. We're already imagining a scenario in which Ripley must use her knowledge of the xeno psyche to infiltrate a nest while disguised as one of them.
His world-building is impeccable...
Anybody who's seen District 9 and Elysium knows that Blomkamp is second-to-none when it comes to building believable alt-worlds. The township in D9 and the (slick) titular space station in Elysium were both utterly credible we felt like we'd been there.
Each Alien film has its identity, but each is grounded in this brilliantly grubby future world where evil corporations are even more evil than they are now not to mention there are aliens out there with flippin' acid for blood.
That's a huge gift to a guy like Blomkamp, who admitted on Instagram that he loves the world set up by Ridley Scott. Blomkamp has a real knack for creating rich sci-fi worlds that we really buy. Could he be the guy to finally show us the inner corridors of the Weyland-Yutani Co? Those sketches of cloud-bothering skyscrapers seem to hint that's where his story might take us.
It has an Alien Queen...
Pretty much every Alien film since Aliens has boasted a Queen in one form or another, and it seems that Blomkamp's film would be no different. Which, of course, is cause for celebration. (Especially as his Queen would probably be the old-school Cameron version, rather than the gloopy, Newborn-birthing Queen of Alien: R.)
Not only that, but it seems that Blomkamp's film would develop the alien biology in some mysterious new way involving the new creature seen above plus a new type of xeno egg!
What is that new thing? And why does it have a tooth? Is it some new sort of facehugger with a fang? We need answers.
It would tie up the franchise's loose ends
We have Ripley. We have Hicks. We have the Alien Queen. And, according to Blomkamp's concept art, we'd also have the original alien craft that kicked off Ripley's nightmares in space way back in 1979's Alien.
We'll take a deep breath before we get our nerd on here. The above shot shows the alien craft that was integral not only to Ridley Scott's Alien, but also his much-belated sort-of-prequel Prometheus. Its presence in Blomkamp's artwork hints that, with Alien 5, he'd be looking to tie all the franchise's disparate parts together in one tidy package. (Though he'd be forgiven for ignoring the AVP misfires.)
Frankly, that would be fantastic. The only way it could be a problem is that Scott already has a script for Prometheus 2 (it's written, he confirmed recently), and it's unlikely that Fox would finance two films from the same franchise at the same time.
Still, with Weaver vocal about her eagerness to tie up Ripley's saga while going right back to the very beginning, it seems Blomkamp's thinking along the same fan-pleasing lines. Maybe I'll go back to it... the director mused of his work on Instagram. We urge him to do so. NOW.
Let's put it this way: hands up who'd rather see Alien 5 than Prometheus 2...
[All images courtesy of Neill Blomkamp's Instagram feed.]