Neill Blomkamp is set to direct a new film in the iconic “Alien” franchise for Fox.
The director, well-known for his Oscar-nominated breakthrough “District 9,” announced the news on Instagram Wednesday.
The studio then confirmed that Blomkamp has been hired to develop an “Aliens” script that would be produced by Ridley Scott and his company Scott/Free; the film would take place after the “Prometheus 2” story line. (Scott is currently working on that sequel, a follow-up to his 2012 release, with screenwriter Michael Green; the film is due to open in 2016.)
Blomkamp previously had released concept drawings for an “Alien” project online, sparking widespread speculation that he could someday helm a new movie in the series.
Released 35 years ago last year, “Alien” set a new standard for outer space cinema, with Scott’s painterly eye capturing the planes and angles of the workaday ship the Nostromo with delicate precision, cultivating a palpable sense of claustrophobia before unleashing a nightmarish predator to stalk the vessel’s unsuspecting crew.
As heroine Ellen Ripley, Sigourney Weaver delivered a mesmerizing performance that catapulted her into the Hollywood spotlight and broke significant ground for women in genre.
“I always felt that the decision to make Ripley the survivor was not made out of any great feminist sentiment,” the Oscar-nominated actress said in an interview with Hero Complex last year. “It was, ‘No one will ever guess that this girl will end up being the survivor.’ It wasn’t a statement of any kind, but he really made it work.”
Blomkamp is soon to be back on the big screen with his own futuristic fable “Chappie,” due March 6. The project sees him again work with longtime collaborator Sharlto Copley. Copley’s movements give physical life to the title character, a childlike robot bestowed with an unusual kind of artificial intelligence who must find his way in a hostile world.
In the film, written by Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell, Chappie is created by a gifted robotics engineer (Dev Patel) but soon falls into the hands of outlaws played by Ninja and Yo-Landi Vi$$er, the provocative South African hip-hop duo known as Die Antwoord.
“I think of it like he has two sets of parents,” Blomkamp said in an interview with Hero Complex late last year. “He has to learn the difference between the parental influences that come from them. It’s pretty funny.”
— Gina McIntyre | @LATHeroComplex
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