Earlier this year, director Neill Blomkamp of District 9 fame posted some mysterious concept art for what looked like his take on a sequel to his favorite movie Aliens, though he added the caveat that it was something he did on his own without any of the studio’s knowledge.
There’s been talk of another straight sequel to the original “Alien Quadrilogy” for many years, with Sigourney Weaver being one of the main sources of information. After a bunch of mediocre Alien vs. Predator movies, original Alien director Ridley Scott returned to that world with Prometheus, which only had a passing connection to the Aliens mythology, so Blomkamp’s concept art reinvigorated interest among the fanbase for another straight sequel.
At the early junket for Blomkamp’s Chappie, which happens to co-star Weaver, we asked the two of them about the mysterious artwork that Blomkamp posted recently and we asked Weaver about her feelings on doing more with Ripley following 1997’s Alien: Resurrection.
First, we have Blomkamp, who we asked what the deal was with that concept art, whether it was something he was playing around with or something he was actively developing?:
“It was sort of both,” he responded. “Fox didn’t know that I was developing it, so in that sense, it was completely unsanctioned and just basically for fun. To me, it wasn’t for fun. To me, that was what I wanted to do next, and I spent a lot of time doing it, and there was a lot of effort that went into. Like when I could take breaks between Chappie’s post-production winding down as VFX got under control.”
“The issue was more like whether I feel like directing another film at all,” he continued. “Not really whether Alien is the right or wrong film, if that makes sense. (Sigourney) knows about it and part of it was just inspired by speaking to her on set when we were filming Chappie, and getting her thoughts on Alien and what she thought of the movies that came after Aliens and what she felt about Ripley and what was incomplete for her about Ripley. There was so much fuel in what she was telling me.”
He added: “Alien and Aliens are probably my favorite films so was I was like, ‘Sh*t, I wouldn’t mind messing around in that world for a bit’ so I just sort of self-funded the artists to work on the artwork. I did way more artwork than I released, probably ten times more and did a lot of writing. I have a pretty cool film just in case it happens.”
We asked if he had any kind of meeting with Fox about these ideas after sharing the artwork, but so far, he says hasn’t. “Fox was blindsided by it, which wasn’t my intention,” he explained. “I just wanted to share artwork with people that liked the franchise. I don’t know whether it’s going to happen or not. We’ll see.”
He did add that there is a possibility of him putting out his ideas of a comic book if it doesn’t happen as an official movie.
That brings us to Weaver, who we spoke shortly afterwards, and we asked if she knew about how she inspired Blomkamp to start developing an Aliens project on his own. “He kept sending me these brilliant designs and ideas and everything. We’ll see what happens,” she told us.
We asked if there was more to Ripley she was interested in exploring. “It’s not that so much is that we just left it at such a creepy place, sort of stranded above Earth. I was quite happy to move onto other things and I didn’t want to go to Earth. I didn’t want to manufacture a sequel and I felt like we were starting to do that. If something happens from this, it would be very organic and very original, and because of that, it would make me want to do it. If it was someone as talented as Neill, I’d certainly listen.”
You can watch the video with Weaver below:
As an added bonus, we asked Weaver about when James Cameron might start shooting those planned Avatar sequels soon and you can watch the video to hear what she had to say about that.
Look for more with both of them before the release of Chappie (along with Hugh Jackman and Sharlto Copley) on March 6.