Ridley Scott’s ‘Alien’, released in 1979, is one of the most revered science fiction films of all time, mixing space exploration with a true sense of suspense and horror. For his part, James Cameron took over for the sequel 1986’s ‘Aliens’ which built upon the terror of Scott’s film and ramping it up into one of the most intense action movies of the 80s (and that’s saying something). Despite the departure, ‘Aliens’ was embraced by audiences and is considered just as classic as the original. And that’s where Cameron thinks things should have ended.
In a recent interview, Cameron, who is now focused on building his ‘Avatar’ universe, mused that he thinks audiences– including himself– had moved on from the series, which meandered with weak cash grab follow-ups. Scott attempted to reboot the brand somewhat with 2012’s ‘Prometheus’ which was not billed as part of the ‘Alien’ cinematic universe, but which is now being used as a foundation for an upcoming trilogy which kicks off in May with ‘Alien: Covenant’.
In his interview, Cameron discussed his thoughts on the ‘Alien’ brand and sang the praises of Scott, but seemed unimpressed with going back to that well at this point:
“The franchise has kind of wandered all over the map. Ridley [Scott] did the first film, and he inspired an entire generation of filmmakers and science-fiction fans with that one movie and there have been so many films that stylistically have derived from it, including my own Aliens, which was the legitimate sequel and, I think, the proper heir to his film. I sort of did it as a fanboy. I wanted to honor his film, but also say what I needed to say. After that, I don’t take any responsibility.
I don’t think it’s worked out terribly well. I think we’ve moved on beyond it. It’s like, okay, we’ve got it, we’ve got the whole Freudian biomechanoid meme. I’ve seen it in 100 horror films since. I think both of those films stand at a certain point in time, as a reference point. But is there any validity to doing another one now? I don’t know. Maybe. Let’s see, jury’s out. Let’s see what Ridley comes up with. Let me just add to that — and don’t cut this part off, please — I will stand in line for any Ridley Scott movie, even a not-so-great one, because he is such an artist, he’s such a filmmaker. I always learn from him. And what he does with going back to his own franchise would be fascinating.”
‘Prometheus’ made over $400 million at the box office internationally, on a budget of roughly $130M, so sequels were a given, but the film received only slightly better than average reactions from both critics and moviegoers. It remains to be seen if fans will give ‘Alien: Covenant’ a shot or if they will view it as just another ho-hum follow-up to a film they were sort of indifferent to.
Well, we know at least James Cameron will be lining up to see it. The question is, how long will that line be?
Do you plan to check this film out when it arrives?
‘Alien: Covenant’ directed by Ridley Scott, stars Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demián Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Amy Seimetz, Jussie Smollett, Callie Hernandez, Nathaniel Dean, Alexander England, and Benjamin Rigby. The film hits theaters everywhere on May 19, 2017.
The as-yet untitled sequel to ‘Avatar’ (the first for four), directed by James Cameron, will reportedly star Sam Worthington, Zoë Saldana, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang and is scheduled to be released on December 21, 2018.