The internet's freaking out over the news that Neill Blomkamp will direct a new movie in the Alien franchise. Though the director of District 9, Elysium, and the upcoming Chappie already teased us with images, we didn't get confirmation that he was actually involved until yesterday, when he posted concept art on his Instagram of a new, streamlined version of the classic alien.
The drawings look amazing, as you can see, and this is the most buzz an Alien movie's garnered since the initial announcement of Ridley Scott's Prometheus. And even though my Facebook and Twitter feeds are full of my nerdy buddies screaming with joy, I thought I'd ask some reputable sources what they thought about the news.
Josh Larsen, film critic and co-host of Filmspotting: "Prometheus hardly convinced me we need another Alien movie, but I am a fan of Blomkamp's. Unlike most, I wasn't blown away by District 9 or appalled by Elysium—I thought both showed equal potential for Blomkamp to some day do something great with his unique sensibility and vision. And while I haven't seen Chappie yet, I'm intrigued. Maybe Alien will be his chance to capitalize on that. As long as he doesn't cast Sharlto Copley."
Rebecca Housel, "the Pop Culture Professor," author of Twilight and Philosophy among other books: "I'm psyched that Neill will be directing the next Alien flick. It's one of those franchises that was at the forefront of female empowerment, and I don't know about the other ladies out there, but when I look at Neill, I start to feel empowered. Really empowered, lol. He's supa-hawt! And yeah, talented, too. The latest Alien will rock thanks to Neill's directorial vision… and overall hawtness."
Samuel Zimmerman, Managing Editor, Shock Till You Drop: "The reaction is a mixed one. My affinity for Alien and the Alien universe is great, but the art revealed I fear is too distinctly interested in recalling and resurrecting. The presence of Hicks and Newt has me believe Blomkamp's significant touchstone, like much of fandom's, is Aliens. Alien is every bit the far superior movie and I just fear the desire to both make and see a sequel to Aliens specifically (especially one that would disregard the fascinating flawed third and fourth films) is a hindrance. Hoping for the best, of course. Would always love to see a killer new Alien film and see Blomkamp truly deliver on the promise of District 9."
Alan Dean Foster, author of the Alien, Aliens, Alien 3 movie novelizations (whom we've spoken to before): "I loved District 9, it was really neat to see what Neill could do with science fiction and it was great to get a South African viewpoint on science fiction, too. I wasn't as big on Elysium. But as far as a new Alien movie goes, Neill being obviously a huge lover of science fiction, that's a step in the right direction, instead of picking somebody who directed the last four iterations of Liam Neeson's chase films. So that's a good thing, of course.
"It's all about the script, of course, what everybody wants to see who likes Alien is something involving the original Space Jockey and the Space Jockey's home world. I'm sure Neill will do a fine job directing, but it's really all about the script… I think somebody, maybe one of the powers that be, saw the reaction [of the explosion in interest in the idea of Blomkamp directing an Alien movie] and said, 'Hey, we might as well do this, as do anything else.' Sometimes good things come out of partial indifference.
"I'd love to see a female director direct an Alien film. It's all about Ellen Ripley and we've got all these guys writing the screenplays and directing the films. There are so many great female directors it would be wonderful to see one of them direct an Alien film."
My feelings are a mixture of everything expressed above (yes, Blomkamp is a total babe). But as much as I want to be optimistic, because I love the Xenomorph, I have remind myself where this remake is coming from. As Alan Dean Foster reminded me, "Only a Hollywood studio could take two successful franchises like Alien and Predator and screw both of them up with one film." Let's see what they do with this sequel.
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