This has been one of those weeks where I found myself wondering if I’d slipped into the Twilight Zone or something…
First came the confirmation, after weeks of rumours, that Neill Blomkamp of District 9 fame (and, lets not forget, Elysium infamy) has signed on to make Alien 5, and that it would be essentially a sequel to Aliens, bringing back Ripley, Hicks and Newt, apparently ignoring the existence of both Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection. Now, I couldn’t give two hoots about Resurrection but I’m a big fan of Alien 3, particularly the workprint version. Indeed, I much prefer Alien 3 to Aliens, as I feel that Cameron’s film really undermined the mystery and terror of the first film, turning it into Rambo in Space. God knows I’m in the minority in that, as the film has its legions of fans who are now hugely excited. But its really bizarre, this whole thing. Are the events of the third and fourth film to be consigned to a hyper-sleep dream? Really, the whole thing boggles the mind. I’m curious to see how Blomkamp pulls the whole conceit off, following Aliens somehow with those characters, considering how many years have passed now and the actors will have aged so much (it is seemingly not being recast as Sigourney Weaver has apparently signed on for the project). Its either some kind of genius project or a horrible cynical reboot disaster…. only time will tell.
More BLADE RUNNER 2 news…
Another project that carries a heavy weight on its shoulders is the promised (or threatened, its a matter of opinion) Blade Runner 2. Alcon, the production company behind the film, has officially announced that the film commences shooting summer 2016 with Denis Villeneuve signed as the director. Villeneuve made the well-regarded Prisoners, which I haven’t seen yet (but you can be certain its now top of my watch list). Harrison Ford is confirmed, having been very impressed by the screenplay penned by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green (the script being one of the best things Ford ever read, according to earlier reports by Scott). The story is reportedly set several decades after the events of the original film. So maybe Deckard wasn’t a rep after all?
Of course the big news about all this is that while Ridley Scott remains involved (presumably in a producer role) its now confirmed that he won’t be directing. I’m split on this. On the one hand, after Prometheus, I’m rather relieved, as it would have been a huge weight for Scott to equal/surpass his original work. On the other hand, I’m disappointed as there’s that part of me just plain curious to see what Scott could come up with, returning to Blade Runner with all the tech that film-makers have these days. Have to admit its likely a wise move by Scott. If it somehow turns out that Blade Runner 2 is a great movie and a worthy sequel, he still has his name on it- if it turns out to be terrible then he can blame everyone else. Certainly, whatever you think of the project, Denis Villeneuve is a very brave man. Signing on for the sequel to such a classic film (one that hardly needs any sequel at all) must be such a daunting prospect.
But what a strange week its been. Alien 5. Blade Runner 2 confirmed. Add it to recent news that Sony has teamed up with Marvel Studios to reboot its Spider Man franchise yet again…. its a crazy world. To be honest, I still can’t believe that we have another Star Wars movie coming this December. Next thing you know, Vangelis will sign on to produce the Blade Runner 2 score and as a genius nod to his fans release a complete Blade Runner soundtrack with all the previously unreleased music that we’ve been waiting decades for. Who knows? These days it seems all bets are off.