An interesting bit of news popped up in my feed this morning:
Neill Blomkamp’s Alien movie, which was just a series of concept sketches posted on Instagram a few months back, has suddenly become very real. And now we are learning some details, although many of them could have been guessed from the artwork. First off, in case there were any doubt, Sigourney Weaver will indeed return as Ellen Ripley, and this movie should give proper closure to her character. Also surmised from the concept art (that included an older version of Michael Biehn’s Hicks character from Aliens), Blomkamp’s new movie will basically disregard Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection as the director says he’s designing the film to sit in sequence right after Aliens.
The part that I find most interesting is the last bit–the implied decision to ignore all the post-Aliens installments of the franchise. I say "implied" because it is not entirely clear from the Nerdist article that that is what is happening, and a bunch of googling has failed to turn up anything more substantive. For the sake of argument, though, let's assume that is what is happening.
Alien: Resurrection was a pretty regrettable film, but as I have stayed before, I quite enjoy Alien3, and I will admit to feeling some outrage flare up at the notion that they would be tossing that movie out the window. After some further thought, though, is it really that big a deal?
When JJ Abrams' first Star Trek movie came out a few years ago, there was a lot of fan outrage regarding the fact that the time-travel element of the story rebooted the whole universe. "All the Star Trek stories we love, all the movies, TV shows, and books–they've just thrown that all away!" went the protests.
These sorts of objections are a bit confusing, though. Regardless of my opinions regarding the new movies, it's not like I can't keep watching TNG and DS9. JJ Abrams didn't come into my house and destroy my blu-ray of The Undiscovered Country. Same thing goes for Star Wars. I am okay with watching the original trilogy and forgetting that the second trilogy ever happened.
And so it is with the Alien series.
If you want to get particularly nerdy about it, the continuity has already been forked. The Dark Horse [comic series from the late 80s] picked up where Aliens left off, with Ripley, Hicks, and Newt back on Earth. It has subsequently been re-edited so as not to conflict with the storyline of Alien3, but it is still out there, and I am sure there are message boards littered with debate as to whether it constitutes "cannon."
Either way, I am interested to see where they go with the new movie, and will still happily watch Alien3.By Pete Brown