More Giger, No Ripley.
Posted Feb-10-2017 3:23 PM
So it looks like Alien: Covenant is shaping up to be the film that fans were anticipating Prometheus to be. It looks like they've ejected into space the elements in Prometheus that were so disappointing: the dopy Shaw and her "religious quest", scientists" behaving very stupidly, Damon Lindelof's dumb script. It was an utter shame to see awesome actors like Guy Pearce and Charlize Theron wasted because their parts were so badly written, only the equally awesome Fassbender had a decent part written for him and David stole the movie, also great actors like Idris Elba, Rafe Spall and Sean Harris' characters were total dicks with ridiculous motivations, just a bad script! (and I have read Spaight's version as well, most of the stupid stuff was Lindelof's).
I can understand the frustrations of Alien fans when Ridley Scott announces an Alien prequel then unleashes Prometheus. It now looks like Fox or Ridley Scott has taken heed of fan's disappointment with Prometheus and are going the full Alien route with Covenant. It seems the Black Goo has mutated and now infects people by floating into their ears!, we've got eggs and what appear to be "Classic" aliens, facehuggers, explosions and tense scenes, I really think this movie will be a great ride, I think the casting of James Franco, Danny McBride and Damian Bachir which seems to worry people a bit will turn out to be a genius move! (Alien: Covenant is really a sequel to This Is the End!). What does worry me is the rumour that two of the characters will turn out to be Ripley's parents! This is stupid and unneccesary, Ripley has her place in the franchise sure, but cramming her in feels superfluous, do we find out that Ripley was "Destined" to battle the aliens all along? Ridiculous!
One other thing that does concern me a bit after watching the trailer is a suspicious lack of HR Giger. His unique design aesthetic was one of the elements that made Alien the success it was, not just the alien, but the Space Jockey, derelict ship and planetscape as well, his "biomechanoid" universe was unique and groundbreaking in SF cinema, there hadn't been anything like it before Alien. I felt that this contribution was marginalised and underused in Prometheus (the Juggernaught, pyramid and a few old Alien mural designs), in the Furious Gods doco, every time the design team came up with something that homaged Giger, Ridley Scott rejected it (the "Gigeresque" CG Fifield mutation was way more disturbing and horrific than the bad make up design they used in the film). The Juggernaught being merely mechanical instead of biomechanical.
I just felt it was such a wasted opportunity that we didn't get to see an "Epic" 21st century interpretation of Giger's biomechanoid universe. My imagination had conjured up all sorts of mindblowing biomechanoid alien/human hybrids, planets and cities, that I suppose it was inevitable that I was going to be disappointed with Prometheus.
My biggest disappointment with Prometheus were the Engineers. The Space Jockeys are just albino human steroid abusers in a suit? I understand that it would be very difficult to portray a truly "Alien" society on film, they couldn't really figure out how to do the Space Jockey so went with the "Star Trek" route of the "Aliens" being human. I like the fan theories that the Engineers are a sterile slave/clone race made from human DNA, a faction that has escaped and intend to use their "Masters" technology to wipe out their inferior human forebears (but that doesn't seem to fit with the opening scene of Prometheus).
Do you think Ridley Scott has it planned out how the next movie will "Lead" into Alien and tie up all the loose ends? Or is it as I suspect he's just making it up as he goes along? (all the chopping and changing of "Prometheus 2", "Classic" aliens are back in, the title changes etc. seem to point to the fact that he doesn't really have a clue how to tie it all together). Alien: Covenant may not be the movie I've been waiting to see for so many years after Aliens but it sure as hell looks like a big improvement on Prometheus, so I am quietly optimistic.
I realise the Alien: Covenant trailer is just a teaser, they aren't going to tip their hand too soon, so if we see facehuggers and aliens, "Backburtsers" etc. in the teaser, what do you think Ridley hasn't shown us yet? There must be something suitably epic and mindblowing in store, it can't just be running away from aliens. Do you think we may get some suitably "Epic" 21st century Gigeresque biomechanismo?(I really hope that idiot Shaw has met some suitably hideous, "Gigeresque" fate!) Are the engineers the real "Bad Guys" or do you think we may see their "Furious Gods"? Paradise seems like a suitable world for colonisation on the surface but what lies beneath? Space Jockeys? What are peoples expectations aside from David and the "Black Goo"? Do we really have to find out exactly how, why, when and where the aliens came from? Am I the only Giger fan who felt "ripped off" by Prometheus, and hopes for a bigger Giger presence in Alien: Covenant?
Posted Feb-10-2017 7:09 PM
It is not RS who decided the direction of the Prometheus follow-up movie Covenant. His idea after Prometheus was "The Beast is dead" and "No more dragons". He did not change his mind. Rather he was vetoed by Fox and instructed (perhaps by Hill and Giler) to feature the xenos that the disappointed fanboys have been demanding. Hence the return to the familiar Alien themes. Had RS refused, there would have been no Covenant, and we would have the Blomkamp Alien 5 instead.
Posted Feb-10-2017 8:25 PM
S.M., Not much really. Seeing old interviews with Giler, my feeling (not based on anything more than that) is that he is more of a studio man, and may have been at odds with RS.
But what is clear is the change in direction to the original Alien themes for Covenant was not inspired by RS. This is based on post-Prometheus interviews with Scott wanting to get away from xenos. Fox just didn't buy it (for good reason).
Posted Feb-10-2017 11:02 PM
Giler has said he wanted Ridley to do Alien3. I've never heard anything about them being at odds. Ridley on the other hand has said a number of times that he knows how the film business works and obviously he knows how to (and likes to)work with studios. He's not the same guy who fought and fought over Blade Runner. If Fox wanted to go down the road of Aliens rather than moving away, and Ridley agreed and thought they had some good ideas to work with, then he'd do it.
If he didn't like the direction they were going to take he would've walked.
Posted Feb-13-2017 7:20 AM
Aliens is my favorite movie of all time. I thought the first 3 movies were awesome, although Alien 3 was completely destroyed by Fox and could have been so much better. If you watch the behind the scenes of that movie you'll see how it's one of the most disorganized movie productions of all time. David Fincher didn't have a prayer. Killing Hicks and Newt was a colossal mistake, but I think Fincher managed to put together a good movie despite everything that was going against him.
As far as Prometheus goes, I think Ridley Scott originally did want to get away from Alien and the Xenos originally, but the studio or something changed his mind at some point but it was too late. I do think Prometheus was a lot better then most people think, but it definitely could have been better. Alien Covenant does look like Ridley is going back to his Alien roots and will honor Giger's designs and bring some new things to the franchise. He definitely isn't winging it though. I read he does intend to make other Alien movies that lead directly up to the events of Alien. You can't do something like that without a plan.
As far as Ripley's parents being a part of these movies at some point I don't really have a problem with that. It's kind of like Alien isolation's concept. It's not a giant stretch to think Ripleys parents were also involved with the company and that she would someday follow in their footsteps working for the same company. It's kind of like if someone's parent was a cop they would want to grow up and be a cop too. I know some people think it's a "cop out" pun intended, but I think it's kinda cool to want to tie such an iconic character to a bunch of new movies so other generations can maybe discover how great these movies are. Star Wars has no problem doing it and nobody gets upset when characters get tied to each other under semi implausible circumstances. The one thing I do know regarding the future of all these movies is Scott did say he was inspired by The Force Awakens, and how that movie reinvigorated the series even though it's basically a redue of A New Hope. It makes me believe that AC and future movies are going to be heavily tied into the original movies and in my opinion that's a good thing. Those movies were amazing and I think Scott knows what he's doing with this franchise. I could be wrong and it could be a disaster but I really don't think he's gonna mess this up. I have never been more excited for a movie to come out then I am for AC. Ridley is going to succeed, I am an optimist and I hope Covenant will be everything I dream it will be so the best movie monster of all time can have it's rightfully earned place at the top again.
Posted Feb-13-2017 9:13 AM
@ the OP: TOTALLY agree with you. Ripley was the heroine of the FIRST movie, and that should've been enough. The damn Universe is HUGE and there should be PLENTY of room to develop new and more exciting characters. I agree: STOP TRYING TO FORCE FEED RIPLEY INTO EVERY DAMNED "ALIEN" STORY!
As for Giger's art: IT was THE reason I loved Alien so damned much, and ONE large reason why "Aliens" was awful, when Cameron pretty much abandoned Giger's ideas. The man is dead, but his "aesthetic" is THE aesthetic that should be built into the Alien and its' universe, and the "Space Jockey's" as well, whoever that ends up being, whether Engineers or...?
Good call, OP. I do feel that A:C will be a GREAT return to form, but I too am feeling disappointed with the lack of Giger influences from the art that I am seeing in the lead up to the film.
Posted Feb-13-2017 9:17 AM
Chad Ripley.. great post and I agree with everything that you have written. I too am an internal optimist and I don't think I have ever been as excited as I am for AC. I trust RS implicitly and I genuinely do not think he will let us down! If he does though, I know where he lives!! :-)
Posted Feb-13-2017 1:07 PM
"As far as Ripley's parents being a part of these movies at some point I don't really have a problem with that. It's kind of like Alien isolation's concept. It's not a giant stretch to think Ripleys parents were also involved with the company and that she would someday follow in their footsteps working for the same company."
It is however stretching things to have her parents AND her daughter all run into the same Alien over and over.
Mind you I thought Isolation was a terrible idea, but was proven wrong. So who knows.
Posted Feb-14-2017 7:28 AM
Thank you @rob clayton
It's good to know that your just as excited about AC as I am. I think I check for AC news everyday on this site and google, and even saw John Wick: Chapter 2 twice for two reasons. I didn't want my brother to see it alone, and so I could see the AC trailer on the big screen again lol. I've think I watched the trailer 30 times already. It was super cool seeing it in the theater. I am still convinced that the Neomorph has eyes on the side of its head that look like big black fish eyes. When that explosion happens you see its head for literally a millisecond right after that Neo body scurrying away to the left shot. I know this post has nothing to do with the Neomorph but everyone thinks I'm crazy when I wrote this in another post.
Yes Xenomorphs don't have eyes, but I think the Neomorphs might. They definitely are related to Xenos and I think David is gonna splice Walter with a Neo and create the biomechanical classic Xeno at some point. I know I'm totally just guessing about what could happen in AC, but I strongly believe that David is going to be a part of the Xenomorphs creation in some way.
Posted Feb-15-2017 8:50 AM
I agree about a lot of what you say about Prometheus but not about Idris Elba, I think that his character was alright even though it could have been better. Spaight’s script was a lot better than Lindelof’s.
The black goo seems to be an interesting thing that they can do more with. It would be interesting to see what would happen if a lot of the black goo would infect a whole eco-system (imagine a forest). Maybe we will see something similar in covenant, at least it seems to be the case judging from the trailer.
Hopefully they will get the characters right this time. I am interested to see what they will do of Danny McBride’s character since as far from what I have read at least he has mostly done comedy.
A Ripley connection isn’t needed, there is more to it than that. It depends on if it plays a big part on the movie or not, if it isn’t then it is alright even though it is not needed.
HR Giger did a lot of god designs for Alien but I don’t think that it is needed for AC. I think that it would be interesting if they would try something new. There are still ways to make things scary without turning to old things. Some people might disagree with me about this but that is OK. Fifield being more of a Xeno would have been a lot better than the lame ass Zombie version. The Engineers were a disappointment, they could have done that a lot better.
Maybe AC will be good, at least better than Prometheus (which wouldn’t be a difficult thing to do) but we will see. They will hopefully try to get better characters first and then take it from there.
Yes I agree that Shaw hopefully is effing dead. She was so lame written and an idiot so I hope that she is dead.
Hopefully we will not know everything about the Xeno after the Alien prequels are done. I hope that they will still have some mystery about them. Maybe they can show us how they could have been made but keep their origin a mystery. The more you know about something the less scary it becomes.
I also got disappointed with Prometheus, not mainly because it lacked Giger elements but because of stupid characters or characters that were not interesting.
Sp_Jockey: Well if they would have drifted further away from Alien in this movie then I wouldn’t have a slightest interest in it. Prometheus was enough of a disappointment.
Chad Ripley: Alien 3 is my favorite movie as far as Alien movies are concerned. I agree that it could have been better and I think that the alternative version is better (not the one that was shown at the movie theaters). Killing Hicks and Newt was alright, it has never been about having a nice family feeling anyways.
I like that AC will have closer ties to Alien, something that Prometheus lacked. Having Ripley’s parents in it seems kind of lame, I hope that they will not do that.
Posted Feb-16-2017 3:49 PM
"LOL studio executives don't commit millions of dollars to directors who 'make it up as they go along'. Will this nonsensense never go away?
Seriously? What planet are you living on Aorta I want to move there!
Hollywood has a long track history of throwing millions of dollars at directors who don't have a clue! Alien 3 is a good example (not that David Fincher is to blame for Alien 3, he did the best he could with what he had, the producers were responsible for that clusterf@&%* of a film) a lousy script cobbled together from all sorts of odds and ends and ridiculous ideas, I mean a wooden space station? Not even remotely scientifically feasible! How the hell did those eggs get into the Sulaco's hypersleep vault? Hill, Giler and Carroll were definitely "Making It Up As They Went Along", or would you contend that it was meticulously planned out? Bollocks! Many Hollywood producers don't have a clue what they're doing, and how many potentially great films have been ruined due to studio interference? Just ask Alan Smithee!
George Lucas and the Star Wars prequels, totally making it all up as he went along (and not doing a very good job, unless the films have been re-appraised as classics by all the Star Wars fanatics!) as well as ruining the originals for many Star Wars fans. How many millions spent on those cinematic travesties I wonder. The Wachowski brothers make one decent film and nothing but overblown, pretentious crap ever since, how many hundreds of millions of dollars did their latest piece of garbage "Jupiter Ascending" piss down the drain? Actually I shouldn't call it garbage because that gives garbage a bad name, STINKING, FESTERING PILE OF HORSE MANURE is a more appropriate title for that celluloid treat! Michael Cimino and "Heaven's Gate" another fine example. M. Night Shyalaman, OK "Unbreakable" was a pretty damn good film, but his record since then has been very bad, he's turned out many Mega Budget Travesties ever since: "Avatar the Last Airbender", "Signs", "The Happening"? Whichever producer gave him the money for that pile of crap was probably fired pretty quick after it was released (Mark Wahlberg outacted by a pot plant!). Christ I could go on all day, but why bother?
Aorta your statement is very naive and I stand one hundred percent behind my opinions! The evidence backs me up, Hollywood is very good at throwing mega budgets at directors who are all too obviously "Making It Up As They Go" so your statement is total Nonsensense! I fully understand that our opinions may differ and I support your right to voice your own opinion and disagree, but I have never labeled your opinions as Nonsense and I would appreciate you not calling my opinions Nonsense, especially as you are WRONG! And it wasn't a factual statement of my opinion that Ridley Scott was making it all up as he went along, I was asking what others thoughts were on the matter given the topsy turvy nature of Prometheus (It's an Alien prequel, No it's not an Alien prequel. When it was first announced it was labeled Alien 5 and Ridley Scott wasn't even going to direct it and I have that in print), the title changes, and the moving away from Prometheus 2, back to an Alien film, It's a valid question (and yes I do actually think it's all being made up as he goes, the evidence seems to back this up, but I was curious as to other people's opinions on the subject).
Posted Feb-16-2017 5:18 PM
"M. Night Shyalaman, OK "Unbreakable" was a pretty damn good film, but his record since then has been very bad, he's turned out many Mega Budget Travesties ever since: "Avatar the Last Airbender", "Signs", "The Happening"? Whichever producer gave him the money for that pile of crap was probably fired pretty quick after it was released (Mark Wahlberg outacted by a pot plant!). Christ I could go on all day, but why bother? "
Sixth Sense $673m box office on $40m budget.
Unbreakable $248m on $75m
Signs $408m on $72m
The Village $257m on $60m
Lady In The Water $73m on $70m
The Happening $163m on $48m
The Last Airbender $320m on $150m
After Earth $244m on $130m
The Visit $98.5m on $5m
Split $172.9m on $9m
Considering $659m has been spent on Shyamalan movies and they've made over $2.7 billion - it's probably best that you don't bother.
Posted Feb-17-2017 7:42 AM
Are you saying Alien 3's problems are traceable to David Fincher? He did not write Alien 3, did not randomly alter Alien 3, he was hired to direct it. And so he did, at the behest of those in control.
George Lucas is another poor example, he owned the Star Wars franchise. Ridley does not own the Alien franchise. Ridley Scott is not randomly altering the Alien movies either. Those decisions come from above.
For whatever reason, there's a subset of people who absolutely must blame Ridley for their dissatisfaction, and no amount of logic will dissuade them. Whatever, you wear your misinformation proudly so have it.
Posted Feb-17-2017 2:45 PM
No I didn't state that Alien 3 was down to David Fincher if you actually read the post I said:(not that David Fincher is to blame for Alien 3, he did the best he could with what he had, the producers were responsible for that clusterf@&%* of a film).
So Shyalaman's movies make money, doesn't mean they ain't crap.
I am over this bullshit, I have a life, I don't have the time to research how much money Shyalaman's crap has made, I base my opinions on what I observe and as stated they are only my opinions, I was interested in what others thoughts were on the subject. It's just the same old crap again from the Fury Road backlash, people are offended that your opinions don't match theirs exactly, they don't actually read what you write only take points out of context as your reply shows Aorta.
I am done with this crap, at first I thought this site was different, I posted my opinion on why I thought Prometheus failed and generated some interesting debate, but ever since I have copped the bile of those who seem offended that I don't 100% agree with them and that is bullshit, arrogant, self righteous, full of their own self importance losers that don't seem to have anything better to do than pour their derision on those whose opinions differ from theirs.
Posted Feb-17-2017 5:06 PM
I completely agree with your two first paragraphs and also about the "engineers", but in terms of design I hope we'll see something new and bold in AC rather than copying Giger like in Prometheus.
My favourite example is Vincent Ward's Alien 3 script with the monks on the wooden planet. Now it may be illogical and a bit crazy, but oh boy was the idea brave and original with stunning artwork.
His vision was so detached from Alien and the more traditional (yet also original) Aliens, without being ridiculous or too absurd imo. It made sense with Ridley's sense of guilt from previous incidents now even further increased with the "ancient beast" unleashed within the wooden giant.
Similarly to Alien, I feel like his Alien 3 could be like watching a twisted dark nightmare, and that's the best compliment I can give.
With that in mind I'd prefer to see something different, but that doesn't mean that I won't welcome a potential straight up Alien clone.
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