Neill Blomkamp, the director who has given us District 9, Elysium, and the upcoming Chappie, has been busy in his spare time. He’s a fan of the Alien franchise and he’s been working with artists in his “spare” time to create concepts for a new Alien movie (see gallery below). His original claim is that he was just doing it because that’s what he loves to do . . . but I believe he is a master troll.
He trolled Fox, hard. He released the concept art with a virtual shrug of his shoulders, and the fans went rabid. Fox took notice and the next thing you know Blomkamp posts this on Instagram:
I’m excited, as should everyone who’s a fan of the Alien franchise and science fiction. But let’s temper that excitement with a bit of reality. Blomkamp has an uphill battle I wouldn’t wish on anyone!!! Here’s what Blomkamp needs to do for Alien 5 to be successful, no matter what story direction it takes:
- He needs to overcome the perception by many that his movies are a lecture about socioeconomic issues, haves vs. have nots, socialize medicine, etc. Lots of people, who attend movies as a form of escapism, do not like to be lectured at movies, and reminded of left vs. right issues. Stick to entertaining your audience, not trying to divide them. Unfortunately many people have already formed their opinion about Neil after the messages in Elysium. I’m not one of them. I enjoyed it a lot, but many people absolutely hated it for the message it sent.
- He needs to appease an Alien fan base that is jaded, fickle, and bitter. Coming close to the Star Wars fan base. Fans of science fiction franchises are typically pretty nerdy, and you just can’t make these people happy. Ever. All you can do is do your best, make the movie, then put your head in the sand and ignore the (usually) baseless frothing at the mouth coming from the internet.
- He’s working with a xenomorph that’s no longer scary. Let’s be honest here . . . it’s not! The alien has become a parody of itself. How can he possibly make this franchise terrifying again? It hasn’t been since Aliens. Gore and blood are no longer terrifying. The xenomorph itself is no longer terrifying. Loud sounds and things jumping out at you from the screen are cheap thrills. How will he capture the stifling terror and hopelessness of Alien, or the swarming and terrifying action madness of Aliens?!
- He needs to change the look of his cinematography and aesthetics. All his movies/shorts and even some of his commercials all look exactly the same. You can spot a Neill Blomkamp movie a mile away by only seeing a few seconds of footage. That look won’t work in the biomechanical Alien universe.
- He needs to go for a HARD R rating, not a soft R rating we saw with Prometheus, if he truly wants to win back Alien fans. This is a problem Ridley Scott had with Prometheus. He submitted a cut in hopes he would get a PG-13 rating (probably at behest of the studio) and ended up getting an R rating. The result: a very soft, SOFT R rated Prometheus. Alien 5 needs to be R. It needs to be absolutely brutal, terrifying, violent, and memorable in order for this movie to not fade into obscurity like Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection.
So there you have it. Let me know what you think needs to be done for Alien 5 to bring this franchise back to life. And let the speculation begin!