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Ridley Scott's Alien Prequel Will Be 3D

March 5, 2010


With all of the announcements of upcoming movies being planned for 3D over the next few years, one would expect that whether or not an upcoming tentpole movie will be in 3D is going to replace the "PG-13 vs. R" question that most filmmakers tend to get. The latest movie that seems to be going that route is Ridley Scott and 20th Century Fox's planned Alien Prequel.

UK sci-fi site Shadow Locked had a chance to talk with art director Roger Christian who worked on Star Wars and Alien, and they asked him about the direction Scott might take with a prequel, the two of them having worked together on the original
movie. Besides dropping the fact that it will be shot in 3D, he hinted at a possible trilogy in the franchise's future.

He told them: "Ridley's doing the next Alien in 3D. Ridley told me some of his ideas when we were here in Toronto. He has a very clear understanding of where this should go. They kind of stopped dead one of the greatest horror franchises there's ever been, and it had legs to go on. So I'm hoping he'll revive another three. The world certainly wants it, and the fans want it - everybody."

Christian met with Scott, but hasn't confirmed that he might be involved with the new prequel, reuniting the duo for the first time in over 30 years.
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ALIEN 5: DEVELOPMENTAL HELL... By: Stephen Brno - from October 2008
 
Talk of a fifth film has been around ever since the theatrical release of "Alien: Resurrection" in Fall of 1997. There were two places for the franchise to go: Earth invasion or the alien home-world. The fourth film hinted strongly at the Earth invasion story-line, but since the film wasn't well-received, those plans meant nothing. Fans and movie-goers alike have always been more interested in seeing the alien home-world or rather exploring the origins of the species which was very lightly touched upon in the original film.
Three decades ago, Dan O' Bannon and Ronald Shusett created the blueprint of what became "Alien" in 1979, a ground-breaking sci-fi/horror film that terrified its audiences and became a box office hit. In 1986, James Cameron picked up where Ridley Scott left off with "Aliens" which became an even bigger success and has become one of the most critically-acclaimed sequels of all time. For the next five years, the 'Alien' franchise faced a crisis as 20th Century Fox juggled with many directors, writers, scripts, and lots of money to conceive a successful third film - the result of that in 1992 was a disaster which, over the years, has gained more acceptance, thanks partly to the two and a half hour long assembly cut released in 2003. Then came the abomination of a fourth film which was "Alien: Resurrection", it was labeled as the sequel that would redeem the franchise and put it back on the right track; it had a great concept, it had potential, and it received a lot of positive buzz and gossip over the five years leading up to its theatrical release. Like "Alien 3", however, it failed.
"Alien 5" has been stuck in development hell for 11 years now. One of the biggest questions, the most important, is how can you do it right this time? How do you not repeat the mistakes done in the last two films? In 2003, James Cameron told The Edmonton Sun that the first film by Ridley Scott "holds a special niche as one of the great terrifying experiences, and the trick (to making a new Alien film) is you don't go crazy and make a $150 million movie because you don't want to have to compromise, you don't want to try to do a PG-13 Alien that is all things to everyone", Cameron also said that it ought to put the psychology back into psychological horror and "It's got to still maintain its roots in this kind of cinematic id. Ridley did it beautifully. He just kind of put you into this Freudian nightmare in space."
Sigourney Weaver has spoke out on several occasions regarding "Alien 5": "Ridley Scott and I have talked about it a couple of times. He has some ideas. If we developed a good script, I'd love to play Ripley again", when asked about plot ideas, Weaver said, "The only thing I'm not interested in is going to Earth. I saw that 'Star Trek' movie where they went to Earth and... yawn. I think it's more fun to go to a foreign planet -- especially now. Who wants to come to Earth now? Let's go far, far away! Fantasy is what we need!"
But then "Alien vs. Predator" happened. "Fox has effectively killed it because of 'Alien vs. Predator.' What else can you do with the creature? You can take the situation, you can go back to where they came from", said Weaver sometime after the release of "AVP". In 2006, James Cameron spoke candidly about his involvement, "Ridley Scott and I talked about doing another Alien film, and I said to 20th Century Fox that I would develop a 5th Alien film. I started working on a story, I was working with another writer and Fox came back to me and said, 'We've got this really good script for Alien vs. Predator' and I got pretty upset. I said 'You do that, you're going to kill the validity of the franchise in my mind', because to me, that was Frankenstein Meets Werewolf. It was Universal just taking their assets and starting to play them off against each other", Cameron added, "So, I stopped work. Then I saw Alien vs. Predator and it was actually pretty good (laughs) I think of the 5 Alien films, I'd rate it 3rd." Unfortunately, Cameron sees Alien as Fox's "asset" now and not his. He's grown tired of putting up with Fox's ideas of how to steer a franchise in the right direction.
A whole legion of rumors have run rampant over the years, including a few pages from an supposedly completed script for a fifth film, one set of pages involving Ripley and the surviving characters from Part 4 and the other set featuring an opening sequence with new characters. When the sequel to "Alien vs. Predator" was in the works, Tim Rothman, Fox chairman, confirmed a future "Predator 3" as well as "Alien 5". However, Weaver, Scott, and Cameron all confirmed they wanted to make "Alien 5" but Fox didn't. Mind you, Tim Rothman is also the guy who said "Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem" will be a lot like "Aliens" and well... we all know how that turned out. In 2001, Entertainment Weekly reported that Sigourney Weaver signed on for a $22 million deal to star in "Alien 5" and it was due out in cinemas in 2004. We all know that didn't happen.
Recently this past summer, however, Signourney Weaver announced her newfound interest in making the fifth film, despite changing her mind following the release of the first "Alien vs. Predator". "I would feel very weird if they brought Ripley back and cast someone else, I don't care whether the budget is big or small, or if it's a lead role or not. If the story's good, I'm there." But with James Cameron tied up with "Avatar" and Ridley Scott directing a couple of movies, it's difficult to estimate when exactly we will see this fifth film come to be. There's still a lot left to explore with this creature. In the first film, if you recall, Ripley's ship was sent to the vacant planet where they found a distress signal from a spaceship that had crashed. This 'derelict ship' didn't belong to the aliens themselves though, they were only the cargo on this ship. The ship in question belonged to a different species, if you recall the scene inside the ship where a fossilized 'space jockey' sits in what looks like a pilot seat and has a face hugger attached to him. Were the space jockeys shipping these creatures off to somewhere? Did they create them? Or are these two creatures from two completely different worlds? How did the company know about all this beforehand? Well, I think it's safe to say "Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem" lightly touched upon that last question, however the "AVP" series isn't officially 'canon' to both franchises... at the moment. I will now leave you all with a very, very interesting quote from Ridley Scott regarding his future involvement in the Alien series and what he has in mind for it, this is from an interview on the WB Studio Back-lot Tour in June 2008:
"I think that Fox found a business in 'Aliens vs. Predator' -- which I think is pretty stupid... but it's not stupid -- it's actually a franchise, it's revenue -- they have to do what they've got to do... and I think that, through that, they kind of blew it away really... they kinda killed 'that'. I think all of the 'Alien' versions -- they're not bad at all... they all have their problems -- because in a funny kind of way... it's kind of like to do a follow-up to Tobe Hooper's 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' -- you can't follow that one... I mean that was so scary -- and so crazy, it's hard to follow. I think 'Alien' was so scary -- and the beast was so original -- the cast was wonderful, but without that beast -- you ain't got a movie -- and that thing was truly heart-stopping the first time people saw it. To go again... to make 'Alien 5' -- I'd have to redesign the beast... and it's not like: 'Well, let's go back to Giger and give us another beast' -- You're not going to get it -- you're going to get a variation on a theme... and people have seen it, so you'd come up with something more original even..."

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