Thankfully this all happened when I was deeply immersed in “the season,” so the enormous sadness was delayed in favor of scaring the snot out of the neighborhood youngsters.
But now the news has finally had a chance to sink in, and I am forced to seek comfort in well-blended adult beverages and berating the interns.
On October 29th, writer / director Neill Blomkamp took to Twitter to shatter our hearts:
In the two weeks since, word is that the Alien sequel is even less than “holding” and more like entirely nuked.
Earlier this year, I and all the other fans of the Alien world got entirely happy over the news that Blomkamp would be directing a film set sometime after the events of Aliens (completely disregarding the third and fourth installments) but also following on the yet-unscripted Prometheus 2 storyline. Alien director Ridley Scott was set to produce.
For the duration of the summer, all was right with the world. Maybe Prometheus would finally make some sense. Maybe Newt wouldn’t die and 39-year-old Carrie Henn would come out of her self-imposed exile as a primary school teacher to reprise her role and be Ripley’s daughter replacement. Maybe Ripley would have finally given into her feelings for a still-alive, scarred-but-still-hunky Corporal Hicks, allowing him to call her “Ellen.”
Granted they’d all be back on a collision course with another stomach-punching, armor-crunching, Ellen-lunching Xenomorph… but still.
Then in late September, the wonderful sci-fi landscape in which our imaginations had been running amok began to crumble.
While on the press junket to promote his upcoming film The Martian, Scott unexpectedly announced the title of his Prometheus sequel: Alien: Paradise Lost.
Frankly I was pretty sure this was a joke, until it became clear that it wasn’t.
HeyUGuys scooped the original story with a right-from-the-horses-mouth interview with the man himself. Says Scott:
Paradise is a very ominous word. In a way it is Prometheus 2. It’s exactly the same story. But it was always in the works to be called that [Alien: Paradise Lost]. I’ve even got connections with Ripley [in this], but I’m not telling you what.
I’m producing it. The design is for it to go out next. It’s more associated with Ripley, it’s a completely different angle; it’s more of a sequel. I’m coming in from the back end.
With the “I’m producing it” bit in mind it was starting to feel more and more like Blomkamp’s project was going to get sidelined, though hopefully temporarily while Scott bridged the Prometheus world with the Alien one.
But a short month later, the Aliens sequel was officially dead, apparently in favor of the original concept of a Prometheus trilogy, though I shudder a bit at the thought.
My horror-blog hero, Mr. Disgusting, posted the following not 10 minutes ago from a recent interview with Scott:
“Prometheus 2 [Alien: Paradise Lost] will start getting shot in February and I’ve already begun now so I know what the script is,” says Scott. “Then there will be another one after that and then maybe we’ll back into Alien 1, as to why? Who would make such a dreadful thing [Xenomorph]?”
The prominently snarky side of me wants to ask Scott the same question – as in who would make such a dreadful thing as that first Prometheus movie? But as Scott is also responsible for the original Alien (which I love) I continue to harbor a tiny flame of hope that the two movies which are to come will be coherent tales that are both entertaining and make sense.
So now let us take a moment to mourn what might have been.
What do you think of the news? Are you looking forward to what Scott will be cooking up in the next two installments of Prometheus? Is it me or are quotes from Scott incredibly difficult to follow? Post a comment or drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org.