District 9 director Neill Blomkamp’s Alien 5 movie that could have been will always be a missed opportunity in the eyes of fans of the iconic science fiction franchise. Sadly, it looks like the project will never happen, and Blomkamp has now placed the blame squarely on one of his own creations: Chappie.
“It’s possible that Ridley watched Chappie and he was like, this guy can’t do Alien so let’s just go ahead and move on.”
While the filmmaker said this with a smile, there is some seriousness surrounding the idea that legendary director Ridly Scott saw the response to Chappie, Neill Blomkamp’s 2015 sci-fi action flick, and ultimately decided that he was not the man to take the reins. Blomkamp’s Alien 5 was greenlit by Fox at one stage, with the studio confirming the news and revealing that Blomkamp’s movie would be a sequel to the original four Alien outings. While, Scott had expressed interest in Blomkamp’s ideas for Alien 5, things came crashing down when the project was cancelled in 2015, with the Chappie director believing that it could have due to the critical reaction to the sentient robot.
Directed by Neill Blomkamp and written by Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell, Chappie is set and shot in Johannesburg, and follows a police robot who is captured by gangsters. Given self-awareness, the robot, who is named Chappie, is raised by the gangsters to assist them in criminal activity, but soon learns that it must feel and think for itself. Starring Sharlto Copley, Dev Patel, Hugh Jackman, Ninja, Yolandi Visser, Jose Pablo Cantillo, and Alien’s Sigourney Weaver, Chappie was met poorly by critics, who, while finding the ideas interesting, criticised Blomkamp’s narrative approach.
While it is unknown whether the response to Chappie was a factor in the cancellation of Alien 5, Blomkamp certainly believes that to be the case, and the timings do line-up. Alien 5 was announced in February, Chappie was released in March, Alien 5 was cancelled in October. That is certainly one hell of a coincidence…
The director also discussed feeling bad for Sigourney Weaver, who had spoken highly of Blomkamp’s sequel idea, as well as his surprise that Fox decided to bin the project despite positive feedback from fans. “I also felt bad for Sigourney because she was really into what I had brought forward,” he said. “I felt like [for] audiences who loved Aliens, there was an opportunity to do one more film with Sigourney in a way that may have satiated what people were looking for and what I think I was looking for.”
“What doesn’t make sense is that I feel like it’s what the audience wanted so it’s strange because Fox would never really turn down money,” Blomkamp added.
Unfortunately, Blomkamp denied rumors that Alien 5 is back on saying, “I’m sure they will make many films with that piece of IP, it just doesn’t include me,” and going on to indicate that he would not come back to the project even if the studio and Ridley Scott wanted to. “Not after, no no no, there’s no coming back from that,” he said. “I’m not gonna work on a film for two years and have the rug pulled out from underneath me and then go hang out and have beers. It’s exactly why I don’t want to do IP based on other people’s stuff ever again.”
Despite the failure to launch Alien 5, Neill Blomkamp is staying busy, with the filmmaker having recently released the supernatural horror Demonic. He has also recently announced a sequel to his sci-fi magnum opus, District 9, is now in development. As for Alien, a television series is now being worked on for FX, with Noah Hawley and Sir Ridley Scott both involved in the project. This comes to us from The Guardian.