Neill Blomkamp, director of District 9, Chappie and Elysium, wants to save the Alien franchise from itself. And, going by what we've heard of his planned approach to Alien 5, he could well pull the xenomorph out of its festering cocoon and make it the cinematic terror it once was.
We've already seen the amazing concept art he's commissioned, and heard his plan to ignore the travesties that were Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection in favour of bringing back an aged Ellen Ripley and Corporal Hicks from Aliens. Now Hicks himself, actor Michael Biehn, has dropped another fan-pleasing tidbit – Blomkamp wants to resurrect Newt, the resourceful girl who manages to survive among xenomorph on LV-426.
Speaking to Icons of Fright, Biehn explained the thinking behind the story outline:
They’re planning on bringing me and Newt back and at this point Newt will be around twenty-seven years old. I know that every actress in Hollywood is going to want to play this one, it’s really a passing of the torch between Sigourney and this younger actress who would play Newt. It would keep the franchise alive and the studios would make money, because that’s what the bottom line is now: money.
Casting would be an interesting one – even the most hardcore of fans would struggle to make a strong argument on bringing back Newt's original actress Carrie Henn, who never really acted again after 1986's Aliens.
However, all this conjecture may be for nothing, as Biehn confirms that the sequel idea has been put on ice indefinitely in order for studio 20th Century Fox to focus on (at least) another Prometheus sequel, named Alien: Covenant:
The basic idea is acting like Alien 3 and 4 never existed, so if you go on Neill Blomkamp’s site, everyone can see all of the artwork for that. I know Ridley Scott is doing his movie first and is going to be the executive producer on this one, so I’m really looking forward to that. I know that Ridley’s focus is on the second Prometheus and I’m sure that he and Fox both don’t want that and Neill’s movie to come out right next to each other, because they’re kind of two different worlds, with Aliens taking place thousands of years later, which is how they explained it all to me, but at the same time, they want to give them a similar feel. I know they’re putting the brakes on Neill’s movie just for a little while, but I really think that it would be embarrassing to Ridley and Fox and Sigourney if they just didn’t make the movie.
The original Prometheus was flawed, but interesting enough to deserve a sequel. But it only takes a cursory glance at sci-fi websites and forums to know that all anyone really wants to see is the return of Ripley and Hicks. Hollywood is mostly known for burying great ideas (mostly), but this is a potential cash-cow it would be crazy to overlook. [Icons of Fright]