Alien Day is over. Though it was filled with memorable clusterfucks like Ripley’s Reebok replicas only being available in men’s sizes, and Mondo’s totally awesome faux alien blood-filled vinyl soundtracks selling out before you could say “LV-426,” the day lacked any sort of big announcement about the movies it purported to celebrate. But a brand new official photo and a post-Aliens screening Q&A featuring Ripley herself (Sigourney Weaver) at New York’s Town Hall last night (which Inverse had the pleasure of attending) offered some juicy details about the future of the big-screen xenomorphs.
Weaver confirmed the news that director Neill Blomkamp’s own Alien project had to suspended so original director Ridley Scott could finish his follow-up to Prometheus, which is currently titled Alien: Covenant. “We have to wait until after Prometheus 2 is made,” Weaver said of Blomkamp’s version, and she was quick to offer up a hint at how the South African director’s take on the mythology will pick up in the middle of the series.
“We kind of just left the whole story hanging, and it always just sort of felt a little incomplete to me,” she said of the much maligned Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection. “And so, when Neill Blomkamp started talking to me about a sequel to [Aliens], I thought that would be so great to know that Ripley has a resting place eventually. And wouldn’t it be great to end the series like that?”
It seems Blomkamp’s movie will be a simple timeline reboot, and instead of being Alien 5 it will technically be Alien 3. “Not that the other two didn’t happen,” Weaver explained, “but they’d run parallel to the other movies.”
When pressed about why Blomkamp took this route, Weaver said, “I love them all, but the filmmaker has to be inspired by what he’s inspired by, and what he grew up with. And what [Neill] wore the tapes out of in South Africa were Alien 1 and 2.” She ended by simply saying, “So we’ll see what happens.”
When moderator Alison Willmore asked a question about the mutual appreciation in Aliens between Ripley and actor Michael Biehn’s character Hicks — last seen recovering from some wounds bestowed upon him by a xenomorph — Weaver immediately jumped to Blomkamp’s follow up. “In Neill Blomkamp’s sequel, you’ll see a lot more of him,” hinting that Hicks and Ripley maintain their relationship when they finally leave LV-426.
Weaver also confirmed the inclusion of a grown-up Newt character, which was hinted out by Blomkamp on his Instagram account in Alien Day.
Weaver, who previously worked with Blomkamp on his most recent movie Chappie, also hinted that Scott’s mandated Alien 5 delay caused her and Blomkamp to cook up something new that audiences might be able to see very soon. “I actually just did something else in South Africa with Neill that I can’t tell you much about,” she said, and added: “but it’s so awesome.”
As if Sigourney Weaver dropping confident hints about a possible Aliens follow up isn’t enough, 20th Century Fox released the first new photo from Scott’s Alien: Covenant movie as well, though it’s a bit underwhelming. It isn’t a character shot or a xenomorph — it’s a patch. Whoop-dee-doo. But it does corroborate the synopsis that a group goes looking for the crew of the Prometheus on a ship called the Covenant. Check out the full synopsis below:
“Ridley Scott returns to the universe he created in Alien with Alien: Covenant, the second chapter in a prequel trilogy that began with Prometheus — and connects directly to Scott’s 1979 seminal work of science fiction. Bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, the crew of the colony ship Covenant discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world — whose sole inhabitant is the “synthetic” David, (played by Michael Fassbender), survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition.”
Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant is currently in production for an October 6, 2017 release, and hopefully Blomkamp’s Alien 5 (or is it the new true Alien 3?) will follow soon after that. Get ready for more xenomorphs.