Last Week: Warning- Disney loves the Alien

ndisneyDistressing news last week (at least I think it’s distressing, your own mileage may vary) was that Disney, having now gobbled up 20th Century Fox, is looking at all the IP its bought and is looking at ways to maximise the potential returns. One of the first properties under its uncanny eye is Alien, and it has been reported that it is looking to reboot the franchise.

Dear God. I hope that doesn’t mean a remake of the original Alien.

Now, I well understand that this also means we can finally dump Prometheus and Alien Covenant in the trash bin and pretend they never happened, because once the reboot button is pressed, then essentially everything prior becomes non-canon, and, well, as we won’t be getting a third prequel from Ridley Scott, the two films are pretty much even more useless than they were before. I’ll be honest, I was rather forlornly hoping that Ridley had another Alien film in him to tie things up with those Engineers and save the day but, alas, it seems its not to be. Maybe this is a good thing.

But they’d better keep there hands off remaking the 1979 movie.

Rebooting Alien. What the hell does that even mean? Do they go back to the Dan O’Bannon/Ron Shusett original treatments and start from scratch? Does that mean a redesign of the Alien and dropping Giger’s creature? There’s a special circle of Hell waiting for any execs crazy enough to make that move. Giger simply is Alien. His dark twisted horror/sexual imagery is the core of the film’s Lovecraftian dread. There’s all sorts of subconscious tensions and fears in that stuff. Maybe they could recreate the creature in CGI fully recapturing those proportions of his paintings that really confound the limitations of a man in a suit. I’d go with that. But let’s not lose the creature.

So what do Disney do? What the hell has that Mouse got in its head? Making a movie set in the same Alien universe, but maybe set after Alien, or Aliens? Pretend that everything from Alien 3 never happened?

Or does it go the Another Life route? Crew the Nostromo with a hip young crew of beautiful people, white, black, gay, straight, bisexual, oversexed, ultracool, dressed in cool fashionable clothes with perfect haircuts. Send them into space with a slick spaceship carrying a payload of water to a climate-change ravaged desert Earth and have them detour to a planet and a flying saucer with a Made In the USA sticker hidden of their sight in a cunning ploy by the Weyland corporation to field test their new bio-warfare toy on an alien Love Island?

God leave it alone Disney. You’ve messed up Star Wars, just leave Alien alone. Its not your thing. This isn’t about selling children’s toys/merchandise or creating Nostromo rides at Disneyland. Alien is Heavy Metal, its hardcore adult horror. I know it hasn’t been that for years, really, but let’s just pretend that 1979 film is Out Of Bounds.

Whatever next? Reboot Planet of the Apes (again)? Reboot Die Hard (again)? Hey, I can see it now- it’s the grudge match everyone’s been waiting for- its Aliens versus Apes in Weyland Tower, a corporate skyscraper under siege by eco-terrorists, and our only hope is a bitter detective visiting town to see her ex-husband who works on the 99th Floor. Can Jane McClane alert the authorities of the terrorist attack before they can steal the Weyland Biowarfare files, while somehow surviving the attention of talking Apes and slimy Alien Face Huggers? It may be Easter, but those Eggs aint for kids mutha—-r.  Kerching! I can hear those cash registers ringing, I’m on fire. Talk to my agent, Disney, I’m sure we can do business.

2 thoughts on “Last Week: Warning- Disney loves the Alien

  1. Matthew McKinnon

    Well, Star Wars and Alien were dead in the water anyway. Both killed off by their creators.*

    Can’t say I’m thrilled with the notion of even more Alien movies, Disney or no. Everything after Alien 3 has been a waste of time and money, and that’s going back nearly 30 years now.

    What’s the point? The Alien isn’t scary any more, and if it’s not The Alien it’s rubbish (see – Prometheus). Even if someone came out with a good Aliens vs Humans thriller…. what’s the point?

    And none of this really has anything to do with Disney. I don’t like them much, but they’re no worse than Fox were.

    *If you don’t like the new Star Wars movies, I’d blame Lucasfilm over Disney. They’re behind the wheel.

    1. You’re right, of course. Hollywood seems to be caught in some self-fulfilling death spiral of feeding on itself, creating reboots and remakes and returning to old ideas. Warmers has been trying to get The Matrix back for awhile now, and Disney buying 20th Century Fox (which was going to the wall anyhow according to report) seems more about getting hold of its library and IP for Disney+ (content is king in the streaming age) than actually running an ‘adult’ studio. How many times can Paramount or Viacom regurgitate Star Trek?

      What the industry needs is something new. It needs something like Star Wars was back in 1977. Something nobody has seen before. It doesn’t need more Star Wars or Alien or Avatar. But here’s the thing- as budgets increasingly go north of astronomical, the risks get so great they play safe. Its possibly the only sensible thing they can do.

      Unless they change the model. They have to make films cheaper, more efficiently. You don’t need 23 producers on the payroll to make a movie, surely, You don’t need to pay ‘stars’ $15 million or $20 million, nor directors either for that matter. BR2049 is a wonderful movie but it surely didn’t have to be a $150-185 million wonderful movie (not that the visual splendour brought in the crowds anyway).

      Or maybe this is the end. There’s no reason to think that big Hollywood movies or that industry is going to be around forever. Streaming will hit some dead end once people start hitting the max of how many platforms they will subscribe to. Maybe it’ll be like the 1970s again. Who’s the next George Lucas I wonder?

      * I don’t think Disney get a free pass, Lucasfilm aren’t an independent, I’m certain they follow the direction of their paymasters/owners. They do seem to be steering away from movies and towards tv shows for Disney+, as if that’s where they see the future lies, and they may well be right.

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