Snork's thoughts on how to reinvigorate the Alien franchise!6,640 Views7 RepliesAdd A Reply
Alien is a cult classic, a celebrated science fiction survival horror, with sexual and existential undertones and connotations. But, it is plagued with issues that lessen the experience, for some.
The characterization of the crew is shallow and little more than one dimensional (a Ridley Scott trait, it would seem), the cinematic technique of layer-of-reveal is all but ignored reducing the impact of the creatures mystery and presence, the corporate conspiracy while celebrated is a tired and overused aspect of many movies from the time (Soylent Green, Logans Run, Rollerball, Demon Seed etc.), the movies continuity especially within the "Space Jockey" is sub-par, and the depiction of the creature itself is limited compared to subsequent installments (due to technical limitations, of course).
With so many movies getting remade or rebooted or reset many of us have pondered and reacted negatively to the idea of Alien be remade. But here's the thing, with the right director, writer, production team and practical and visual effects teams a remake of Alien could be produced to be superior to the original in every way.
Imagine Alien was remade with one of Hollywoods top directors, with a handpicked cast from the greatest of today's actors, written by the best screenwriters, framed by one of the best cinematographers, scored by one of the best composers, and realized by the best effects teams. What a movie that would be. But here's the problem...
If Alien was remade and was superior to the original in every way most fans would prefer the original movie over the remake. Your reasons would be many, but regardless of your preference for the original, it would ultimately make a remake of Alien a pointless endeavor. Or would it?
What if the components that could be used to make a perfect remake were applied to a new installment. A new Alien movie that sheds the excess, removed the bloated ideas and returned back to the core themes of the original movie. Despite its plagued production, the reverence towards Alien 3 is in most part due to the fact that it does exactly that - returns the story to that of survival.
Yes the beast is cooked, and needs to be evolved, adapted to remain relevant to todays audience, but with a creature that can seemingly reproduce in almost any possible way (egg-morph, Queen, Spores sacs, Black Goo) and adapt to virtually any environment and inherit any genetic trait it deems useful it seems surprising that of the eight movies featuring the Xenomorph, only three have attempted to explore the wealth of those possibilities.
Unlike many, I don't hate the Queen idea that James Cameron introduced, but after seeing that aspect of the Xenomorphs lifecycle in five movies now, I think its time we explored other possibilities, darker possibilities that echo the body horror and invasive nature the original creature tried to convey back in 1979.
Ultimately the setting of such a movie is irrelevant; whether on a ship, within a colony or elsewhere it matters not. The future of the alien franchise really needs just three ingredients - a fully realized depiction of the creature, a three-dimensional cast of characters we can associate with, and the right production team to realize that vision. Sadly Ridley Scott's bloated and somewhat arrogant ideas have proved too divisive, and Neill Blomkamp's vision is too referential to prove relevant to audiences, but hopefully once the dust has settled on the Disney/Fox merger the lessons the franchise have taught us thus far will be learned and hopefully we will get the Alien movie we have all dreamed of.
That is unless Shane Black or Paul Feig have designs on the Alien franchise.
I hope that this never happens, as it sounds utopic and very boring. Almost, every of the great Sci-fi directors has long past his peak, who remains ? Garland? Villeneuve? Neither of them has made big block buster hits. So why waste money on the big star of Hollywood. F 'em, let the spend the money on interesting sets and visuals instead.
And sincerely let them embrace the weird. I would like to see what would Julia Ducournau (Raw) or Coralie Fargeat (Revenge) or Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead (The Endless) or Panos Cosmatos (Mandy) do. Why not make a movie where Alien is the protagonist?
And what about the audiences? Even the highly acclaimed A Quiet Place only made 334 internationally. People are not very hungry for creature features, so why invest big money in such an endeavor?
But no please don't make a remake, make video games and comics and books and whatever and let it rest.
PS. I don't think Prometheus was sub-par (sure mistakes were made trying to pander to Alien fans themselves and parts of the dialog needed improvement) and truly believe that the characters in the original trilogy are that likable. And you know, in Sci-fi characters usually are embodiment of ideas so why does the modern audience need them to be relatable? (Not everything needs to be Star Wars or to be judged by the Monomyth standards.) And can you relate to Iron man or Thor?
I would actually trust Benson and Moorhead to write an Alien movie, and would also trust Cosmatos to direct. IMO Cosmatos is our generations Kubrick (or Lynch), and as such, I would consider him one of our greatest directors.
As for relatability - can I relate to a billionaire inventor, nope, but I can relate to an orphaned addict, and while I can't relate to a god I can relate to a son looking for affirmation from their father or having to frequently clean up a mess made by a brother.
A bit of weird could compliment Alien, and it also could not (Alien Resurrection), but I would not trust Garland in the slightest, I find his movies too bloated and shallow.
@Gavin However nobody asked you to relate to the billionaire as he ultimately was the villain... and you know Red from Mandy is pretty much Jesus and he is going full Old Testament on the Devil and he is relatable in a way...
I think the ALIEN Franchise keeps getting Diluted and Damaged with each Installment... The Predator Franchise is now suffering likewise the same FATE...
ALIEN is a Masterpiece, Aliens is a Good Movie certainly for the Popcorn Generation, it was also a Classic but a movie that the Older you get, it seems to become more a 18-30's kind of Flick... where a Alien 3 seems to grow on you the more older you get... well for me at least.
I think any Reboot could potentially Damage the Franchise.... its a case of what can a Reboot do thats any different? Improve on some aspects, Visually, include some things that should have been included in the First Movie but had to be dropped?
But all of this could be done with-out having to REBOOT anything!
Well could have until ALIEN COVENANT came along!
You see ALIEN never answered who the Space Jockey was, or WHY he had that Cargo... did he discover it and was attempting to take it back to experiment/study (similar to Starbeasts version of our Dead Big Guy in the Chair) Did the Space Jockey Create the Xenomorph Eggs? and if so WHY?
Ridley Scott prior to the Prequels had indicated the Cargo was a Bio-Weapon used by the Space Jockey.... which left us to WONDER... against WHO and WHERE are the rest of his kind and WHERE in the Galaxy was this Conflict he was involved with?
Prometheus introduced the Would-be Gods Plot, which may not have been Justice to the HR Giger Concepts and HP Lovercraftian Nightmare! But as of Prometheus it was open as to how many LEVELS of Creation are above the Engineers and HOW very Dark/Alien this could have gone.
We also NEVER saw our Engineers in the Franchise, they had not came back to Destroy us after the Outbreak... seemed like we was either abandoned or all the Engineers were GONE!
The Plot of a Would-be Creator Race, who go around seeding Worlds, who have Ships that have Maps to other Galaxies, means these beings have visited areas of Space that are beyond our Reach even at the time of ALIENS.
The Potential was there to explore there Home-world as a Place FAR FAR FAR away from Earth, show a Conflict between Races, or Factions that had happened FAR FAR away.
And open the Potential that the DERELICT was not the ONLY Ship they had sent out with Bio-Weapons!
We could have thus had a Deep Space Mission set after Alien or Aliens that had traveled VERY FAR to a world that either had a Crashed Engineer Ship, had another abandoned Outpost or had been a World that had suffered the Bio-Weapon in the Distant Past!
Setting up a movie that could be like ALIEN that does-not reboot anything or give us a NEW Ripley, a movie that does-not have to be about Androids... a Movie that can be like ALIEN but with more Action, that can introduce a Fresh Form of the Xenomorph and explore some of the Unused things from STARBEAST
The Alien Covenant Plot that puts Planet 4 within about a YEARS travel from Earth, and leads to the Xenomorph not existing until David Creates it, really has LIMITED the potential to expand on the Franchise.. and more so leave us many many LESS places the Engineers Bio-Weapons have ended up on.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
It seems I may not have been clear enough, my apologies...
I'm NOT saying Alien should be remade, it would be a pointless and fruitless endeavor.
What I'm saying is that like with the recent Apes trilogy Alien could be remade to be superior to the original, but that instead of remaking Alien, what should be done is to get the best production team possible with the best cast to return the franchise to its survival horror roots while exploring the adaptive capabilities of the creature rather than just regurgitating the Queen out time and again.
For example, what if the next Alien movie used the idea that was originally envisioned for Fifield (pictured above) and was also briefly considered for Alien: Covenant (pictured below), whereby a "victim" transforms into a Xenomorph after being exposed to the black goo.
Grotesque transformation scene aside, the mutated Alien could show signs of intelligence, or possible reproduce in a new way using one of the other characters (genderswapped impregnation maybe?). Additionally, a more "Alien" movie using the black goo could tie the main franchise and the prequels together in a loose but less bloated way.
What I want to see is the Alien given the chance the shine as the antagonist we all infer and envision it to be. For me, narrative elements of corporate conspiracy or dark creation or grandiose mythology are secondary embellishments that should be added after the fact. The Alien movies need a good foundation, which for me has been lacking since Alien 3.
I cant rule out a REBOOT down the line, certainly if NOTHING comes of the Franchise as far as Movies or TV Series by the year 2029 and so approaching the 50TH Anniversary of ALIEN
If there is no more Movies/TV Series (or Streaming)by then, i would not be SURPRISED if one of TWO things happen.
1) A Remaster of the Original were some Scenes would be added/changed, the Xenomorph shown off more and maybe replaced more with CGI or some more STATE OF THE ART Practical Effects. Maybe few extra scenes that have the OLD CAST could be done with CGI as in 10 years who knows how GREAT the STATE OF THE ART CGI would be?
2) A REBOOT... but then its what Formula do they follow? How much of the OLD Plot to they stick with, what elements that NEVER made it into ALIEN do they introduce. Would any Reboot consider the other Prequels as Canon or COMPLETELY offer us a WHOLE NEW take on everything?
Does it replace Ripley with other Character Names? do they go with he Starbeast and Older Alien Drafts Characters and Ship.... for example no Female Ellen Ripley but a Male Martin Roby and the ship called the SNARK?
All a REBOOT would do is introduce the Franchise to a Newer Audience, ones who would likely connect the Xenomorph more to the AVP Games and Comics, than the Classic 1979 ALIEN we do have the Alien Isolation Survival Horror that was to a degree more in line with ALIEN but left very open as to connect to ALIENS
The problem NOW with a Reboot also depends on how the younger Generation who was born after the Original 3 Movies or indeed Quadrilogy would interpret what the Alien Franchise would be about... do they look more at the Comics and Games, what do they think about the Prequels etc.
I think while a REBOOT could be something to Cash-In and reinvent the First Movie to a New Generation... like ROBOCOP did... i think after the disappointments of the Prequels and Reaction to AVPR and the Prequels does leave Disney in a Predicament...
A All Star Cast that has more A Lister's than the Prequels, would mean a HIGHER Budget, more Effects that are State of the Art would also mean a HIGHER Budget.
I dont think Disney would risk a say $250M on any ALIEN movie be it a Reboot or something New or a Continuation of the Prequels or Alien Resurrection.
Not at the Moment.....
Then its a case of IF it does not attract a New Generation, then the Older Generation would Judge the New Movie compared to the Original... which could mean IF the Plot is very similar, they could ask WHY MAKE IT.... if its quite different and does not make the Older Generation Happy they will also ask WHY MAKE IT.
I also feel the Newer Generation are more used to their Marvel Movies, Avatars and the LIKE.... and so they would prefer a more Action Packed Cameron/Blomkamp Queen Xenomorph Romp-fest!
I think a alternative Movie that takes Starbeast and strips most of what ALIEN had, and fills in with something else could have worked... apart from the PLOT we are now heading regarding Alien Covenant.
Something like what i propose could WORK.. still but they would have to introduce something that is very different to the Xenomorph seen in the Franchise and Alien Covenant.
But would this be something Fans would want to see? Because if we have to have more Traditional Looking Xenomorphs then we are limited due to the David Creates the Xenomorph Origins on Planet 4 between 2094-2105
Apart from a Movie that goes to where DAVID is off to after Alien Covenant and arrive at the Aftermath of Davids Work. Which could just give us a kind of Aliens Reboot to a degree.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
"It seems I may not have been clear enough, my apologies..."
I see ;)
I agree... the problem is would such a endeavor be something NEW kind of a Alternative Universe much like the NEW Planet of the Apes?
Or consider the other movies as Canon?
I think what you suggest if we consider others as Canon, is similar to what i think could have been done...
The Alien Covenant Plot does LIMIT things a little... but they could still explore and show us that Planet 4 was just the world that another Race had Created the Engineers upon.
I remember your Theory about the Xenomorph Bio-Weapon, that would infect a World and then all that remains are the EGGS that would then be collected..
Looking at Prometheus and indeed the Bombardment Scene and that Image you shared... we could be seeing similar but in terms of the Black Goo..
If we assume it infects Organisms, and Mutates them so they go around killing each other, and then they simply after a Certain Period of time, they then break down into Pools of the Black Goo Parasite again...
So Parasitic Worms... infect Host, Multiply and infect Hosts DNA to Morph it into a Hostile Life Form that Eradicates its own kind, and then breaks down into just leaving the Parasitic Worms which can then be collected and stored and RE-USED.
Ideal for a BIO-WEAPON
Which maybe mean the Xenomorph and Deacon are accidental results that are not intended... or results made by Manipulating the Black Goo in a way it was not intended.
The same can then be asked about the Sacrificial Scene... if a series of Events by accident, produced a different result and CREATED LIFE instead of just resulting in more Parasitic Pathogen. Or the Engineers managed to Manipulate the Goo to behave in a different way and CREATE Life?
There is a lot we can Digest, depending on what Facts/Clues and Stance we take on what the Black Goo is..
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017