Nothing beats a good ol' chestburster. Even if 2017's Alien: Covenant wasn't exactly what longtime xenomorph fans were hoping for, it did end on an intriguing note: Michael Fassbender's David ready to spread his deadly creation across the cosmos. With so-so reviews and a lackluster box-office performance, the future of Ridley Scott's Prometheus saga/Alien prequel series was left in doubt, but you shouldn't count it out just yet.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter about the making and long-running legacy of the original film from 1979, Scott revealed that "that there are discussions for future installments" in the franchise at the now Disney-owned 20th Century Fox. Nevertheless, he is insistent that the core concept needs to change if the series is to have any hope of continuing, lest you repeat yourself into the realm of doldrum.
“You get to the point when you say, ‘Okay, it's dead in the water,’” said the director. “I think Alien vs. Predator was a daft idea. And I'm not sure it did very well or not, I don't know. But it somehow brought down the beast. And I said to them, ‘Listen, you can resurrect this, but we have to go back to scratch and go to a prequel, if you like.’ So we go to Prometheus, which was not bad, actually. But you know, there's no alien in it, except the baby at the end that showed, itself, the possibility. I mean, it had the silhouette of an alien, right? The alien [origin concept] is uniquely attached to Mother Nature. It simply comes off a wood beetle that will lay eggs inside some unsuspecting insect. And in so doing, the form of the egg will become the host for this new creature. That's hideous. But that was what it was. And you can't keep repeating that, because the joke gets boring.”
While he doesn't feel the same dislike toward Prometheus as many moviegoing members do, Scott also admitted that it's a nigh-impossible task to outdo the first Alien. Aside from James Cameron's Aliens in 1986, no other sequel or spinoff film in the entire franchise has received iconic, untouchable status.
"There’s only ever the one,” Scott added. “It’s like trying to do a sequel to 2001. Fundamentally, you can’t. Really, with the greatest respect to Star Wars, the best film by far is the one that George directed, right? By miles. It was unique. It was absolutely wonderful to me. It was the fairy story of all fairy stories in space. And to follow through is a tough call. So, same with Alien."
Alien celebrates its 40th birthday Saturday, May 25. An in-depth documentary on the making of the iconic sci-fi/horror film will be released by Legion M and Screen Media sometime over the summer.