Can Ridley Scott Resurrect Alien?

Colm McAuliffe :: Thursday, June 17th, 2010 4:00 pm

While it’s bad news for anyone eagerly awaiting the release of an Alien 5, but Ridley Scott, the veteran British filmmaker, is set to revisit the film with two prequels, an announcement which filled me with something which can only be described as delight. His 1979 original was a masterpiece. But has the Alien name been irreparably tarnished by those awful sequels? And Ridley’s own output since the early nineties leaves one with the sneaking suspicion that brother Tony (The Last Boy Scout, Top Gun) may be the talented one in the family. Click through for more on this…

Either way, Ridley confirmed his intentions to direct the two prequels at the Hero Complex festival in Los Angeles this week and revealed the focus of the films would be based upon a mystery, giant ’space jockey’. His career since Alien has been a curious mix of stellar highs (Blade Runner) and some absolute stinkers (Body of Lies, 1492: Conquest of Paradise) - is there any reason to think that he can really resurrect Alien? James Cameron’s 1987 sequel was passable but the woeful Alien 3 & 4, not to mention the horrendous Alien vs Predator series has seen the franchise become something of a joke.

“I sat thinking about the franchise, which died on the road way back and was lying in the dust, and I thought, ‘What I should do is go back”, said Ridley at the festival. “In the first Alien, when John Hurt climbed up and over the top of the rise there was a massive giant lying in a chair. The chair was either a form of engine or some piece of technology, and I always thought: no one has ever asked ‘Who was the space jockey?’ Inside the suit is a being.

“What we’re going to try to do is squeeze in two prequels … because if you explain who [the space jockey] was and where he came from, then you may want to … go to the place where his people came from.”

So…the protagonist will still be a human. And presumably still female. But the main problem with making a prequel (or even two prequels!) is that we already know what happens. Everyone dies. Prequels by nature have to project post facto.

The director also revealed that he planned to shoot the films in dazzling brightness to help the 3D process, before darkening the screen in post-production to suit the franchise’s sombre tone. One of the most spellbinding features of the original was the artwork, designed by HR Giger, the Oscar-winning Swiss artist. Interestingly, Giger is still alive at the ripe old age of seventy. To achieve the appropriately outstanding reimagining these films require - and a chance at adding some genuine originality - wouldn’t it be fitting for Ridley to make that call to Giger?

One Response to “Can Ridley Scott Resurrect Alien?”
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