Back in early January, out of nowhere, District 9 director Neill Blomkamp posted previously unseen concept art for a new Alien movie that he’d been tossing around in his head. Needless to say, the art was received quite positively on the Internet, with images ranging from Ripley wearing a space jockey helmet to another one of Ripley and Hicks. (Needless to say, Sigourney Weaver, who Blomkamp just worked with on Chappie, is a big part of his vision.)
So, what exactly are these?
On Tuesday, I met with Blomkamp, who is promoting Chappie (the full interview will run closer to release), at his New York City hotel room and asked him about this art. As it turns out, there’s a very real possibility that Blomkamp may actually be making a new Alien movie, and it sounds like the ball is very much in his court.
Where did this Alien concept art you posted come from?
Basically, what happened was, when Chappie got heavily into post-production, I could take my foot off the gas a bit. I was thinking about what I wanted to do next and I’ve been wanting to make an Alien film for like years and years.
But you’ve never really said that before.
People have heard you say that you don’t want to make an existing franchise type movie after what happened with Halo, before District 9.
That’s still true, by the way.
So that’s why it’s surprising that you want to do Alien.
Speaking to Sigourney Weaver, when we were doing Chappie, she set off a bunch of thoughts in my head — I had come up with an idea that didn’t have Sigourney, it was a different idea. But I spent all of the shooting time with her, it was like, holy shit, that could actually be really interesting. When I came back to Vancouver, I had an entire year to work on Chappie. And when I wasn’t needed in the edit, I could think about Alien. So, I basically developed an entire movie and I did all of this artwork as well.
Is this an abnormal way to go about this?
It’s totally abnormal. But it’s for the reason that you bring up, if it’s going to happen, it has to be on my terms. So, I came up with it and I’m bringing this to you. It’s not like, “Would you like to do Spider-Man 36?” I still love it, I love the idea of the movie and I produced way more art than I put out.
The art was very specific, it looked like a complete story. Ripley is wearing a space jockey helmet.
It was a whole story. Then I just wasn’t sure if I was going to do another film, like, at all.
Sometimes Hollywood just sort of gets to me. I love movies, but Hollywood itself is a difficult animal to negotiate. So, then I was like, if I don’t do any, I should put some of this artwork out and that’s exactly what happened.
Is that you giving up on possibly doing an Alien movie?
It’s not really giving up on the idea.
People on the Internet responded really well to that artwork.
There’s a high possibility, a high degree of chance that it happens that I go back and try to get Alien made.
In case it never happens, why is Ripley wearing a space jockey helmet?
I can’t tell you! It might happen! It’s cool though; it’s really cool … I’ll decide soon.
Someone at Fox should listen to you about this.
That’s not the problem, actually.
What’s the problem?
Me. I’m the problem. Fox, they would make it. Like, tomorrow. They would make it.
So if you called right now and said, “OK, done.”
Yes. Then it would happen.
Would it be your vision, or do they have their own ideas?
No, I think it would work out.
Then just do it.
I know, I just have to mentally agree with that.
Then what’s the problem here? I assumed there were obstacles, like maybe Ridley Scott wasn’t on board.
No, no, it’s not politics.
Then let’s do it.
Mike Ryan has written for The Huffington Post, Wired, Vanity Fair and New York. He is senior entertainment writer at Uproxx. You can contact him directly on Twitter.