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Just one guy's quest to unlock the mysterious art of storytelling on screen.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Wikipedia snuffs Alien 5 (rumoured movie)

Here is a Wikipedia article that hit the brick wall of 'AFD' ("Wikipedia is not a crystal ball").

It references my Alien 5 blog piece in the External Links section, so I figured I would keep a copy on RageAgainstThePage.

Introduction

The Alien movie franchise began with Ridley Scott's 1979 film of the same name. The franchise hatched three more installments: Aliens (1986), Alien³ (1992), and Alien: Resurrection (1997). In 2004, a cross-over installment Alien vs. Predator landed in cinemas.

Isn't Alien vs. Predator the 5th film in the Alien series?

No, it's not considered part of the core Alien franchise, therefore the tag Alien 5 refers instead to the unproduced fifth film in the canonical Alien movie series. Paul W. S. Anderson, writer and director of Alien vs. Predator, explains:

"What happened to Alien 5 anyway?! Who's doing that?!" he laughs, before adding that he thinks AvP shouldn't be considered the fifth film in the Alien series. "I would hope [it's not looked at that way], because it's a prequel anyway, so it doesn't even take place in the same timeline as the Sigourney Weaver film. You know, when I did AvP, it was very much that I felt like I was making a standalone film that wouldn't interfere with an Alien 5 or a Predator 3, which are both movies that I would like to see." — "Paul Anderson Not on Alien 6", by Scott Collura, Now Playing Magazine, December 7, 2004, retrieved February 23, 2006

Will there be another Alien movie?

Although many years have passed since the last installment in 1997, and despite a downward trend in box-office receipts with each installment, a new Alien movie cannot be ruled out:

  • Studios know that old properties can be revived with the right combination of talent
  • Sigourney Weaver has continued to express interest in another installment
  • Both James Cameron and Ridley Scott said they would consider directing another installment
  • The cross-over film Alien vs. Predator made more than $171 million dollars (USD) worldwide in cinemas, proving that audiences remain interested in the Alien and Predator franchises
  • The time between releasing the sequels was seven, six, and five years respectively (and another seven if you include Alien vs. Predator). So historically, a long interval between film releases has not significantly eroded audience interest. This may be in part due to the multi-media nature of the franchise (movies, comics, games), which helps to keep the Alien iconography afloat in the public consciousness.


20th Century Fox controls the rights to the Alien movie franchise. A fifth film can happen only with Fox's approval, unless they sell the property to another studio (very unlikely for the reasons listed above). At this time there is no indication that Alien 5 is in official development at Fox studios.

Rumours and speculation — cast and crew

At various times since 1997, it seemed that an Alien 5 movie was finally moving forward. Cast or crew member from the earlier films have speculated to the media about a new Alien movie sequel, and the media have pounced on this information as a 'done deal'. Those quotes are collected here.

As stated above, Alien 5 is not in official development at Fox studios. If and when the movie gets an official go-ahead, we'll record that milestone here.

1997

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1998

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1999

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2000

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2001

  • Sigourney Weaver will receive $22 million — a record for an actress — to do a fifth Alien film, Britain's Sunday Express reports. Alien 5 reportedly will be set on Earth for the first time and will be written by Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon. "I've always wanted to do one where we go back to the planet from where the alien originally came or even get to Earth," Weaver told the newspaper. The film would hit theaters in 2004, the 25th anniversary of the original's release. — "Alien Resurrection", tvguide.com, February 5, 2001, retrieved February 18, 2006
  • Sigourney Weaver: "I was interested to read that I was doing a fifth film for a phenomenal amount of money [$22m]. Unfortunately, it wasn't true. At least the sum. And I haven't really talked to Fox about making another." She added that while it was very likely a script for a fifth Alien was "lying around at Fox somewhere", she had not been approached by the film company. — "Sigourney denies Alien 5 role", BBC News, February 21, 2001, retrieved February 16, 2006
  • Sigourney Weaver again denied rumors she's getting $25 million to appear in a fifth Alien movie. "The amount was thrilling," Weaver told TV Guide. "I'm supporting my husband's [Manhattan] theater, so he was thrilled that he was going to be able to sign up for another five-year lease," she joked. "I would have to kill a few people to get that salary." But she said there are no plans for a fifth Alien movie. "As far as I know, there is no truth to any of it. My agents both called me and said, 'This is in the paper,' and I said, 'You've got to be kidding me!' [...] I think if we ever did another Alien, I would prefer that it be on a much smaller, sort of character-driven level," she said. "If I were more enterprising and less lazy, maybe I would come up with something that would be good. I don't feel it is quite finished." She said that a script for a fifth movie does exist. "I have never read it, and I have never asked to read it," she said. "I think 20th Century Fox's plan is to make it Alien vs. Predator, and I would just as soon not be in that, although I am sure I could whip them both." — "Alien 5 Rumors Are False", Sci Fi Wire, March 2001, retrieved February 18, 2006
  • Joss Whedon denied a rumor that he had written the fifth script. "There is not one shred of truth to it. I have no idea where [the rumor] came from. I'll tell you, there was a time when I would have been interested in that, but I am not interested in making somebody else's franchise anymore. Any movie I make will be created by me." — "Alien 5 Rumors Are False", Sci Fi Wire, March 2001, retrieved February 18, 2006
  • Sigourney Weaver says she will meet with Ridley Scott to informally discuss a new Alien movie and 'throw around ideas.' — "Headlines", Dark Horizons, October 1, 2001, retrieved 8 February, 2006
  • A report that 'Fox shot down a supposed final draft script of Alien 5: Invasion.' — "Alien 5, Bye Bye Bye" by edward AT filmjerk DOT com, FilmJerk.com, December 3, 2001, retrieved 8 February, 2006

2002

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2003

  • Sigourney Weaver: "I know that Ridley Scott and I’ve talked a couple of times because people are always coming up to me and saying 'What about Alien 5?' In the current atmosphere where there is so much going on on earth, I can understand people wanting to see an adventure that’s far away and so I, myself, would love to go and see something happening on another planet. You know, out by Mars or something. But we don’t have any definite plans." — "Weaver confirms 'Alien 5' talks", by Thomas Chau (tom AT cinecon DOT com), Cinema Confidential, March 14, 2003, retrieved February 16, 2006
  • Sigourney Weaver: "Ridley and I have talked about it a couple of times. He has some ideas," the actress told the Chicago Sun Times. "If we developed a good script, I'd love to play Ripley again ... The only thing I'm not interested in is going to earth," she said. "I saw that 'Star Trek' movie where they went to earth and... yawn. I think it's more fun to go to a foreign planet." — "Weaver, Scott eye another 'Aliens' film" by JAM!Movies, Canoe Network, April 23, 2003, retrieved February 5, 2006
  • James Cameron: James Cameron was asked on the BBC what he thought about the third Alien movie. After slating it, he revealed that he was ready to rectify this by making Alien 5. Heres the report from DarkHorizons: "Hated it. Simple as that. I hated what they did.... I couldn't stand Alien 3 - how they could just go in there and kill off all these great characters we introduced in aliens, and the correlation between mother and daughter. It stunk, but hopefully I'll get a chance to rectify all that". You mean the talk about him being tied to "Alien 5" is true? "To an extent. yes. We're looking at doing another one. Something similar to what we did with Aliens. A bunch of great characters, and of course Sigourney. I've even discussed the possibility of putting him [Arnold Schwarzenegger] into the Alien movie" — "James Cameron Ready To Make 'Alien 5'", KillerMovies, July 7, 2003, retrieved February 16, 2006
  • Ridley Scott: "Fox and Sigourney Weaver have contacted me, they want to conclude this series with the one who has begun it. [...] But there are not even serious talks. I don't really know what I could do unless I go back to the questions stated in the first episode. Where does the crashed ship on the planet with this mysterious extra-terrestrial come from ? We could wonder wether [sic] massive destruction weapons (which could threaten the Earth) had been used or not. I could be inspired by THE WAR OF THE WORLDS" — PlanetAVP, by Nathan AT planetavp DOT com, October 1, 2003, retrieved February 6, 2006

2004

  • Sigourney Weaver: "What I was saying probably was that Ridley Scott and I had talked about doing one more where we go back to the original planet and see what these creatures came out of, but I think that it would be probably unlikely that a major studio would go for it only because one of the lead characters would be a 55-year-old woman," Weaver said. "I don't think the audience would care at all because I don't think we're as ageist as the business is. So I think that we'd be game ... We're both so busy that I'm not going to sit down and write the whole script. And I didn't rush to see Alien vs. Predator which looked awful to me, like a video game. But I just hope that the alien won, because predator is such a stupid looking creature." But would a studio really resist the opportunity to get Ridley Scott and Sigourney Weaver back together for an Alien movie? "It would have to be Fox because they own it. I think Ridley would have to stamp his foot a few times, but would they do it? I don't know. Maybe they would give us a pretty low budget to do it. The first one, we made for $14 million. Of course, that was the dark ages in 1978, but I don't think it takes a lot of money. You just have to think. I don't know, I'm never out here long enough to call Ridley and say, 'So, what's happening.' But we do feel there's no rush really. The planet will still be there. I just have to be unemployed long enough to come up with a good idea. It's fun. I miss those clothes." — "Sigourney Weaver on Alien Future", Latino Review, page undated (estimated as 2004 because she is on a junket for The Village), retrieved February 5, 2006
  • Sigourney Weaver: "Ridley Scott and I have talked about doing a movie where we'd go back to the original planet and get rid of them once and for all," Weaver said in an interview. "I'm not sure where my allegiances would lie, but that would be the main reason why I'd be curious to go back and sort of see inside of Ripley who would win [...] I'm not very organized, and I'm always pretty busy, so it's not like I'm writing the treatment and sending it to Ridley and saying, 'We've got to do this,'" she said. "I think it's an interesting series, but I'm happy with what we've done. We haven't compromised it. I really did die [in Alien 3] to avoid any contact with Alien vs. Predator. That was why I disappeared after the third one, because I'd heard that was an idea." Asked flat-out if she thinks she portrayed Ripley for the last time in Alien: Resurrection, the fourth and last movie in the series, Weaver paused and then replied, "It doesn't feel complete to me, for some reason." — "Weaver Considers Alien Future", Scifiwire, July 21, 2004, retrieved 18 February, 2006
  • Sigourney Weaver: The actress also said there will probably be a fifth Alien film, but she won't be in it. "I know there's a script, but I haven't read it", she said. "Never say never, but I'm pretty sure this thing is over for me," she added. — "Weaver: Lara Croft is not a heroine", by Daniel Kilkelly, digital spy, September 18, 2004, retrieved February 18, 2006
  • Paul W. S. Anderson: A story broke a few weeks ago which indicated that AvP writer-director Paul W. S. Anderson would be scripting an Alien 6. [...] "That's not a reality," he says. "I've heard that. I've been doing press lately for AvP and a lot of people said that. I don't know where that came from. It's not something I've been approached about." [...] "What happened to Alien 5 anyway?! Who's doing that?!" he laughs, before adding that he thinks AvP shouldn't be considered the fifth film in the Alien series. "I would hope [it's not looked at that way], because it's a prequel anyway, so it doesn't even take place in the same timeline as the Sigourney Weaver film. You know, when I did AvP, it was very much that I felt like I was making a standalone film that wouldn't interfere with an Alien 5 or a Predator 3, which are both movies that I would like to see." When asked what he would like to see from a new Alien picture, the filmmaker has the perfect fanboy answer: "I'd heard that Cameron had his idea for it so I'd like to see that!" — "Paul Anderson Not on Alien 6", by Scott Collura, Now Playing Magazine, December 7, 2004, retrieved February 23, 2006
  • Alec Gillies: "Everything that I'm hearing from the studio suggests that there isn't going to be another Alien movie. And definitely not another Predator movie. They (the franchises) had been declining at the box office steadily, with each film. The box office just tapered off. [...] We get people coming up to us and saying we loved [Alien] Resurrection, or [Alien] number three was my favourite and so on – and who wouldn’t want to see Ridley Scott do another Alien film? But I don’t know what the budget of that movie would be because the reality is, I don’t want to say they’re cult films, but they’re not movies that make a hundred million dollars. But that’s why they’re hoping to get folks like Ridley Scott involved. I’d love to see it. I think there are worlds there to be explored. I think its hard to create the magical that you had with the first one, Cameron did it beautifully by expanding…and the more sequels there are the more parameters are set up. At some point, you have to burst out of them." — "Alec Gillies waxes lyrical on AvP 2", by Clint Morris, Moviehole, December 14, 2004, retrieved February 23, 2006

2005

  • Tom Rothman: Fox money-man Tom Rothman caught up with IESB at the premiere of "Fantastic Four" and decided to wet our under-briefs with news on a potential "Alien 5", with Ridley Scott returning to the helm. "Every time I see Ridley Scott he still talks about Alien so there's always a possibility [of him doing the next one]", he says. "I don't think it's near-term, I think he has a couple of other movies he wants to do first, but we have a deal with Ridley and it's always possible". — "Rothman on a Scott-helmed Alien 5", by Clint Morris, Moviehole, July 8, 2005, retrieved February 16, 2006
  • Ridley Scott: Went in on a casting call for CBS's NUMBERS this week, and to my surprise, Ridley Scott - exec.producer- was there. I got to shake the man's hand after my read (he wasn't involved in casting - not these small parts anyway) and asked him about an online rumor about an Alien 5. So here's the deal, straight from the horse's mouth. "I'd love to - and we're talking", he said. I asked him would it star the originals and he said Sigourney's on-board, and he hopes Lance Henriksen might be interested too. But bottom line "Too early to even speculate...we haven't even finished the script yet". — "ALIEN 5 is Fine by Scott" by News Editor, Cinescape Movies, July 21, 2005, retrieved February 16, 2006

2006

  • James Cameron: "Yeah. Ridley and I talked about doing another ALIEN film and I said to 20th Century Fox that I would develop a 5th ALIEN film. I started working on a story, I was working with another writer and Fox came back to me and said, 'We've got this really good script for ALIEN VS PREDATOR' and I got pretty upset. I said, 'You do that you're going to kill the validity of the franchise in my mind.' Because to me, that was FRANKENSTEIN MEETS WEREWOLF. It was Universal just taking their assets and starting to play them off against each other ... Milking it. So, I stopped work. Then I saw ALIEN VS PREDATOR and it was actually pretty good. (laughs) I think of the 5 ALIEN films, I'd rate it 3rd ... I mean, I felt when I was making ALIENS I think the same thing Ridley was doing with ALIEN, which is... 'I'm going to make you think this is real.' Even though it is completely ridiculous deep space adventure. We were going to make you feel like it's real. It's a question of does the film take itself seriously or not." KRAKEN: "So you still thinking about doing something with it?" JAMES CAMERON: "No." — "Quint interviews James Cameron", Quint AT aintitcool DOT com, Aint It Cool News, February 7, 2006, retrieved February 9, 2006

General rumours and speculation

Alien5.com

Around 1997, it was reported that the domain name www.alien5.com was registered but returning blank content. That address is now returning a 'server not found' error. — "Development Heck, Alien 5" by Coming Attractions, Cinescape, retrieved 7 February, 2006

Ripley's daughter

Much of the speculation over story possibilities for a new Alien movie involves Ripley's daughter, Amanda. Cameron added the character to Alien lore in his film Aliens.

For story purposes, this added much depth to Ripley's character by establishing a daughter who grew old and died while Ripley was lost in space (this scene was not included in the theatrical version but was seen in extended versions on TV, Video and DVD).

In Cameron's 1983 treatment for his film, Amanda Ripley is a seventy-year-old woman living in Oregon. Ripley makes a vid-phone call to her. Cameron writes that the call is 'short and devastating.' Ripley is shocked to see the old woman she remembers as a bright ten year old. Amanda remains bitter toward the mother she thinks abandoned her for a life in space.

In Cameron's final screenplay for the film, dated 1985, Amanda is no longer alive when Ripley is rescued and taken to Gateway Station. Amanda is reported to have died two years earlier of cancer, no children, at the age of sixty-six.

This approximately fifty-five-year period (Earth time), between Ripley departing on the Nostromo and being rescued from drifting in space, seems ripe for continuing the Alien saga. It is likely to be one of several scenarios under consideration if the producers are considering a new Alien movie without Sigourney Weaver.

Prequel

Alien Quadrilogy

External links

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pity

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