FACTUALLY ACCURATE News on ALIEN 8 (Paradise) & 9 (Untitled)

I haven't touched on it much here but of course being that I love monsters, and ALIEN changed the landscape of monster movies in a fundamental way, plus the monster itself is just so damn cool, I've been a big fan of the series for a while, even since before I was of an appropriate age to even watch the fucking things, if that makes any sense.

And when I say "fan of the series," don't be alarmed, because I mean the literal interpretation of that phrase, which is to say I'm not an "Alien fan" but rather someone who actually enjoys the fucking movies. Yes, that's right, take a deep breath, because you will not see any oxymorons here, not from me. My admiration for the series is genuine, and to me "series" means more than one thing, meaning ALL seven of the films, plus an enormous percentage of the various other tangents all have their own merits to me, although in particular my favroite movie is the third one, with one of the big reasons being that Ripley, Hicks, and that stupid fucking annoying child die, fixing the terrible, terrible mistake of the previous film of trying to give a god damned Alien movie a happy ending, which is outright blasphemy.

So, to reiterate, I'm not an "Alien fan" who only likes the horrible James Cameron movie which was written at a 5th grade reading level and features all of the stupid, cheap bullshit in Titanic and Avatar, I like the Aliens themselves, and the world and the mythology they're a part of. I'm invested in the development of the series, as a whole, because this is what the actual definition of a fandom is, and that's I am, the actual definition of an Alien fan, not an "Alien fan." We clear?

Moving on!

So, let's talk about the new movie(s). It wasn't long after PROMETHEUS came out when the first sequel news started trickling in, and soon enough there was word from Ridley Scott that it was written. For those who haven't been following Alien movies this whole time, Ridley Scott actually announced during the production of PROMETHEUS (as early as when it was still called "Alien Origins") that the story was two big for one movie, and the project was going to have to be taken as a pair of ALIEN sequels.

Now to some this might sound like a Peter Jackson Hobbit-style extra layer of bullshit, but if you've been paying attention this isn't in the least bit surprising, because Alien movies have always come in twos. The first two are the popular Hollywood blockbusters that are the only ones fake fans seems to know exist, the second two is when the series diverges from the constraints of Hollywood's safe, cuddly, bullshit crib and proceeds to kill off the the thing that was holding the series down for a decades, Sigourney Weaver, expands the xenomorphs themselves for the first time since... ever, and then fucks around with both, making the second two films something of a "fuck you" to the Hollywood straight-jacket that poisoned the first two, and were far, far better films as a result. The third "duology" gave the series it's very first antagonist, the Predator, which although is a pretty poor choice of co-star, did help to expand the mythology and world of the series which, again, hadn't yet been done in the movies ever. The first of the two delivered in a big way, and the second, while technically competent and still delivering some new surprises with the first ever on-screen appearance of a Praetorian Alien, was bogged down by annoying teenagers and bad lightning, of a caliber so irritating it made James Cameron's movie look good. It just makes sense that Ridley Scott was planning out the next two, rather than just the 7th, because historically the series has always come in blocks of two, whether intentionally or not.

So in 2013 we find out "Prometheus 2" has been written by Jake Paglen, who at the time hadn't had a released film to his credit, but now has Transcendence out. I've never seen it, but apparently a lot of people think it's kinda boring. Considering the majority of people are stupid assholes who go to see bayformers unironically, what I'm assuming this to mean is that Transcendence had a lot of stuff going on, was interesting, and required you to think. Nevertheless, I don't think there's much we can infer about Paglen's writing style and how it might apply to aliens from a movie about Johnny Depp in a computer.

Either way, in 2014 a revision was done on the script by Michael Green, a guy who also worked on the script for "Blade Runner 2" and some other big movie that I can't remember and am not going to bother looking up. The impression is that this guy is more beloved by the unwashed masses, and that his rewrite might give the script a "best of both worlds" kind of set-up where the story is constructed by a guy who knows what they're doing, and is then punched up with some dumb schlocky action stuff. Which, to be fair, sounds pretty cool. It was at this point when Ridley Scott officially declared the script as "done."

So when is it shooting? We don't know. There were some (probably false?) alarms that when off when he was scouting for locations in the outback, but I couldn't tell you if anything became of that. Early news from the studio (Fox, by the way) had a mysterious March 2016 release date for an untitled Ridley Scott film, which people were quick to jump on as being PARADISE, but later news seemed to indicate that he was a little too wrapped up in post-production on Exodus (some dumb bible movie because Ridley Scott is like some sort of weirdo cultist or something) and that a different movie was lined up... The Martian? Which, and if that's the case, then scouting for locations in the Outback makes a hell of a lot of sense. But then, after that, it looked like Scott's 2016 release really would be "Prometheus 2" and they were going to start shooting in 2015 some time. That's the last of the news that came through the wire, and there was never a hard confirmation on it, like a quote or a press release, so even now a March 2016 PARADISE is still technically an unconfirmed rumor.

What is PARADISE going to be about? Well, that seems like a silly question, because surely you can guess that on your own, but if you're that oblivious, here's the information about the film itself that we actually know:

 - It will follow Shaw and David to the Engineer home world, which will of course be a spooky, weird, hopefully Giger-esque "dark paradise" like we've all been waiting for.
 - A large part of the relationship between these two characters will revolve around David trying to convince Shaw to give him a new body. This is a dangerous prospect, Scott says, hinting at the fact that the android is pretty clearly an antagonist, but David is also supposed to be really persuasive. I very much doubt they'll find a spare David 8 body lying around on the Engineer home world... so then that leads to the question, what will David's new body be?
 - No original flavor xenomorphs again, this time though we're not meeting the Deacon but rather another new kind of alien, which is supposed to be very late 70's Giger-esque ala the original adult Xenomorph and is appropriately terrifying. Scott has been quoted as saying he thinks the "dragon" (his name for the original xenomorph alien) is done, and that he wants to see something new. I wholeheartedly agree, as I did when PROMETHEUS came out, and hopefully his enthusiasm for this new alien will mean it won't be the boring, stupid let down that the aliens from the last film (with the exception of the Hammerpede) were.
 - A plot point or idea that got passed around at various panels early on was that we were going to see multiple David 8 androids. Given that this news was pretty early in the game and that the current synopsis as we know it doesn't leave much room for that, this could be a remnant of an early draft or pre-draft treatment sort of thing that won't be a factor in the finished film. Then again, maybe not.

Other than those few obvious things, there's not much other news to speak of. Presumably, though, the reason for there not being a lot of news since the "okay I guess it is coming in 2016 now" stuff is because production on it has actually started, and they're being hush hush about the whole thing. At least that's what I would assume. And another reason for that assumption is...

So near the end of 2014, some guy named Neil Blokamp who I've never heard of before released a bunch of fan art on the internet of a speculative sequel to ALIENS in a new timeline where Ripley and Hicks both survive. "Alien fans" (who, remember, hate ALL of the Alien movies) ate it up, because it was stupid and boring. The art is nice, though. The guy further elaborated on the fan art that it was part of this whole Alien story he had written out, even going so far as writing up a script. Now, for those of you who don't understand things like copyright law and the way film production in Hollywood works, let me explain: What this Blokamp fellow did is called fan art, he wrote and painted his own story taking place in that universe because of his own reasons, and he had a story he wanted to tell within that framework. So that's what he did. He did not write a spec script to send to the studio for consideration, not only because he did this whole thing completely in private and then only released it to his twitter followers online and not, you know, someone in a position of power, but also the very act of his releasing it online like that, and even in his own words, was symbolic that he had finished working on it. As in, his fan art was complete, and he was letting other people know. And remember, Fox doesn't... really except solicitations about Alien movies. With one major exception, they appoint you to write an Alien movie, not the other way around.

But Neil played it pretty close to the vest anwyas, figuring, correctly, that both being a director of some financial popularity and publically releasing fan art of a popular franchise on his own time gave him a kind of grass roots enthusiasm about his project, and maybe, just maybe, he could bring that kind of enthusiasm to Fox's doorstep and go "welp, looks like people want me to make this movie... but I guess you're not interested in that, are you?" If that was indeed his tactic, it was smart, and it worked. Recently news has been coming in that Neil Blokamp is indeed going to direct yet another Alien movie, marking the first time two Alien movies have been planned around the same time since Joss Whedon wrote "Alien 5" alongside Resurrection. Of course... the 5th Alien movie had no relation to that "Alien 5" at all.

But the "news" is very confused, like a giant toddler that hasn't figured out not to touch the stove yet, without fail all of these articles coming about about Neil Blokamp's "Alien 9" are... wrong. They make shit up. They assume things they have no right to assume. They're full of lies and more lies. It's kind of disguting. So, I'm here to clean up shop, and have the only article on the entire internet that presents the actual facts as we know them so far:

 - Ridley Scott's "Scott Free" company is going to be producing the film.
 - Neil Blokamp definitely wants Sigourney Weaver to be a part of it. I can't find anything that states she has actually agreed to this, only that this is the intention. Given Weaver's complete and utter disdain for the entire series, I can almost guarantee that the only, and I mean only way she'll do another movie is if Fox offers her a just criminal amount of cash and gives her near complete creative control over it. But again, no confirmation either way, but this is what the director wants at least.
 - No one has actually started making the movie yet. It isn't written. It isn't anything. This is what we would call the "Development" phase.

And that's it. I know there is probably one guy who stumbles across this article through a search who is wondering where the info about it definitely being confirmed to be in a new timeline, but folks, just because you keep telling yourself something doesn't make it true. The truth is nothing has been confirmed about the plot. Nothing. NOTHING. And I mean fucking nothing. Part of the problem is that we're given no less than four different storylines from a bunch of different articles none of which contain any sort of fact checking or sources whatsoever. In fact, one quote from Blokamp actually suggests the complete opposite of the "Aliens 2" story, that his film will feature Sigourney Weaver and not take place in a different timeline, hinting at a reprisal of her role as Ripley 8, which I personally have been waiting for for a long, long time. But here's a quick run-down of the plots for "Alien 9" that have been suggested (i.e. completely made up on the spot) by various "news" articles:

 - The same as his fan project, starting a new timeline after ALIENS where Ripley and Hicks survive. Given Fox's recent attitude of enforcing "EU" stuff to not contradict the timeline as it stands, this would seem like a really weird move on their part. On the other had, it HAS been 36 years since the series started, and it was 30 years before Godzilla first started a new continuity, and 29 years before King Kong was dropped into a new timeline, and compared to them the Aliens are actually running really late. So maybe it is time for a new timeline in the films, however...
 - Being that this films will come out after PARADISE, that means, of the 8 films that will be out at the time, there will be a neat line cutting the series down the middle, with the later 4 being prequels to the first 4. Given this, if you ARE going to do a new timeline, having it take place after the first two means you only cut out 3 and 4, since 5-8 are all prequels. And when a supposed "new timeline" still contains 6/8 of the original films in it's continuity... are you really changing anything at all? Obviously the most sensible thing to do is, since we're already finishing up a series of prequels, have the new timeline begin after THAT, have "Alien 9" be a sequel to PARADISE rather than ALIENS, and give an alternate take on the original discovery of the xenomorph, and revisit Ripley at the earliest point she enters the timeline. This idea, which makes the most logical sense, has been proposed in various articles as being the hard and fast actual truth. But, of course, there's no confirmation of such a thing.
 - Similarly, Ridley Scott has said many times that rather than PARADISE being a prequel to ALIEN (it still is, but he's talking about it in a more story-thread sense), it goes off in it's own direction, and it's really more like PROMETHEUS had two children, one of whom is the 1st Alien, the other is the 8th. And it just so happens that Neil Blokamp's Alien movie has been reported to be just that, a sequel to PROMETHEUS but not so much PARADISE. However, this one seems the most suspicious because it calls into question whether the writers of the articles who suggest this even know that "Prometheus 2" is even a thing. It also isn't really a distinction that makes much sense, since if Ripley was born in 2092, and PARADISE presumably takes place sometime soon after January 1, 2094... I mean, it'll still end up being a sequel to both.
 - And then of course, like I mentioned earlier, if Blokamp both wants to get Weaver on board and doesn't want to start a new timeline at all, instead leaving the existing continuity intact, then what we're looking at is a sequel to the 4th movie, which as I also mentioned earlier I'm very excited about.

There are two last things I want to mention here, both are about Blokamp's "Alien 9." First and foremost, 9 =/= 5.


There are 7 Alien movies as of February 2015. PARADISE will be the 8th, and Blokamp's will be the 9th. I don't understand how so many people are so confused about something as simple as counting. But, for those of you who have been in a coma since 1997, I'll play nice and help you out. Okay, are you ready? Count them with me now:

1. 1979 ALIEN
2. 1986 ALIENS
3. 1992 ALIEN 3
4. 1997 ALIEN Resurrection
5. 2004 ALIEN vs. PREDATOR
6. 2007 ALIENS vs. PREDATOR: Requiem
8. 2016 PARADISE/"Prometheus 2"
9. 20XX Neil Blokamp's Untitled ALIEN Movie

It really is just that simple, folks. As you can see here, the 5th Alien movie is actually 11 years old now, so at this point there's really no excuse for not knowing it exists. You kinda just... well, I mean I really hate to say this unironically but you really need to stop living under a rock. You really, really do. This is embarrassing.

And the very last thing I want to mention is that there's one piece of fan art for Blokamp's original "Alien: Xenos" story that really intrigues me, and that, surprise surprise, is a new alien. Take a look:

If you notice a certain similarity between this and the LV-223 "Millbworms," then you aren't alone. Also interesting is the new egg which uses Giger's original design with a singular, intentionally vaginal opening, rather than the cross slit. I am so, SO fucking ready for a new kind of alien that isn't boring and terrible, and I have been since PROMETHEUS trailers teased the totally awesome Hammerpede, and then it turned out later than all the other aliens in the movie were... uh... a caveman and a squid. So, you know, if Alien 9 included even more new aliens, that would be amazing, and I think it's appearance in the very conservative "Alien: Xenos" is a good sign that "the dragon" isn't quite done getting a face lift just yet.

Not that I have anything against "the dragon," but I just can not stress how disappointing it was to be absolutely sure PROMETHEUS would deliver some fucking creepy assed Proto-Aliens and a Jockey Alien, and then get a caveman instead, I would like the subject of different kinds of aliens to be expressed in a way that actually works, at least once, and it looks like I might be getting it twice. Very, very cool stuff going on with Aliens at the moment, it seems.

Just be careful about all the lies out there passing themselves off as "news."

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