Oh, Ridley. It’s been an interesting ride. But maybe, just maybe, it’s time to sever ties with the Alien series. In a year-end roundtable interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Ridley Scott expresses “I think the beast has almost run out, personally” going on to say “You’ve got to come in with something else. You’ve got to replace that. And so I was right…I was ahead of the game.”
Where have we heard this before? Oh, wait. It was only a couple of years ago.
Only in 2014 he declared “The beast is done. Cooked” when Prometheus 2 was being written. Then Neill Blomkamp set social media on fire approximately half-a-year or so later by posting some passion-fueled concept art to a proposed Aliens sequel. In this timeframe Prometheus 2 evolved into Alien: Covenant. Scott completes an impressive 360 and states the Alien character can “go another round or three”.
But his sincerity for the revival of the iconic killer-from-outer-space has always been in question and only last year during a media set-visit for Alien: Covenant he was quoted in jest saying “they want Aliens, I’ll give them fucking Aliens” evoking the idea there was a bit of contempt lingering through his creative muscles.
Now Alien: Covenant has been and gone and was totally forgettable, something needs to be a scapegoat. What about the barely-conceived characters making illogical decisions and doing dumb shit? Nah. What about the hideously jarring tonal switch from true Alien prequel to Prometheus 2 half-way through, then switching back to the same-old rinse and repeat Alien chase down the corridor for the finale? Nah. Shit CGI looking less-convincing than a man-in-a-suit from ’79? Nah. Just stick the blame on ol’ banana-head being tired and boring.
The monster is only as good as its story and script.
Ridley may get his crack at a sequel to Covenant but you can bet your bottom-dollar it’ll drift further away from the Alien of the title. As someone that is desperate to see something inventive that includes the Alien, I’ve drawn up a shortlist of filmmakers that can takes the reigns from Ridley and steer this spaceship back into frightening territory:
Director of the supremely chilling The Conjuring and its impressive sequel, James Wan seems an obvious choice because of his incisive execution of dread and suspense; coupled with the continued use of performers in suits and makeup to provide the scares, we may see a reduction of unnecessary, unrealistic CGI.
Another monster that was arguably in danger of being “cooked” was Godzilla. But Gareth Edwards 2014 reboot breathed new life into the giant lizard. Bryan Cranston aside, the characters were a bit dull, but the care and brilliance breathed into each scene Godzilla was in was breathtaking. Plus Rogue One was better than The Force Awakens so there is always that!
It’s all well and good composing a wish-list, but it’s a two-way street. Who wants to direct another Alien movie? Who is passionate and talented enough? Well this guy does and is to answer my own questions. The director of Anne Hathaway-starrer Colossal earned rave reviews and the filmmaker expressed Alien is his dream project.
Responsible for this year’s phenomenal War of the Planet of The Apes, writer/director Matt Reeves has the clout to pull off a James Cameron and create something truly special like Aliens. Would he want to? One can dream! He has a strong relationship with 20th Century Fox so there is the tiniest thread of hope ever.
It only feels like yesterday since his Aliens sequel was greenlit but unfortunately it drowned in cryosleep like that of Newt. Maybe a resurrection could be on the cards though now Ridley’s prequels have stalled the franchise? One can only wonder what could have been.
Agree with our choices? Or do you think Ridley is right and the beast is almost played out? Let us know below in the comments or on our Twitter channel!