Lots of extra-terrestrial-based goodies were unveiled in celebration of Alien day (26 April), including huge amounts of impressive fan art, new collectable action figures, celebratory videos and even Ellen Ripley-style Reebok stomper trainers. But while most people looked back on the iconic sci-fi franchise for the made-up holiday, which references LV-426; the moon where xenomorphs are discovered in the original 1979 film, director Neill Blomkamp saw it as an opportunity to tease what's coming next in the saga.
Taking to his personal Instagram profile, the 36-year-old posted what appeared to be some concept art, accompanied by the single word 'Newt'. As fans of the ongoing series know, Newt (Carrie Henn) was the nickname of Rebecca Jorden, a character who Sigourney Weaver's Ripley risked her life to save at the end of James Cameron's Aliens in 1986. What's most intriguing about the hint however is that Newt (who was just a child in the movie) now looks all grown-up, something seemingly impossible seeing as she was supposed to have died at the beginning of David Fincher's Alien<sub><sup>3.
While the certainty that Blomkamp's film, the fifth in the Alien series, will ever make it onto the big screen has remained doubtful over the past few years after numerous problems with production, one thing that has remained constant is both the filmmaker and cast's standpoint that the movie will basically ignore the events that took place in both Alien<sub><sup>3 and Alien: Resurrection. When discussing the concept, Blomkamp had previously insisted that he's "not trying to undo" what happened before, but unless he has a completely bonkers explanation as to why Newt is now alive and well, reviving a dead character sure seems like he's doing just that.
Actor Michael Biehn, whose character Corporal Dwayne Hicks also died in Alien<sup><sub>3, seems a little less vague about where the upcoming instalment will take the story however. "The basic idea is acting like Alien<sub><sup>3 and 4 never existed,"he told Icons Of Fright in November 2015. "They're planning on bringing me and Newt back and at this point Newt will be around 27 years old."
He went on to explain that the idea behind those resurrections is to enable Weaver to "pass the torch" to the younger actress playing Newt, who would then subsequently take over as the new franchise lead. "It would keep the franchise alive and the studios would make money, because that's what the bottom line is now: money."
Blomkamp's currently untitled Alien project is reportedly aiming to reach cinemas sometime in 2017. Before then, Ridley Scott's Prometheus sequel-turned-spin-off Alien: Covenant, starring Michael Fassbender, will be released in the US on August 2017.
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