Alien 5, Fincher 0
Yes, I’m as excited as the next guy (the “next guy,” in this case, being Mowrer, who’s pretty excited) that Neill Blomkamp gets to make his passion-project-Alien sequel. I was a fan of District 9, I’m jazzed about Chappie (I’ll see Elysium…eventually), and the concept art he posted on Twitter is drool-inducing.
But does he have to wipe out Alien3 to do it?
Yes, Alien3 is miserable, and dark, and depressing. Well, maybe it’s my own Eeyore-like tendencies, or just my contrarian tendencies, but I like movies that are miserable and depressing (I also love the Wachowskis’ Speed Racer, just to illustrate that contrarian thing). I like that, after the haunted house horror of Alien, and the suicide-mission action of Aliens, David Fincher found another distinct tone for the third installment, making it a meditation on fatalism, that some see as a metaphor for the AIDS epidemic. I like that he tried to give Ripley a proper ending, rather than just sticking her back in hypersleep at the end for yet another go-round.
I know I don’t have a leg to stand on, morally; I was there for opening day (literally!) of Superman Returns, which did the exact same thing, to the exact same-numbered installments. Still, Alien3 had an existential sense of dread and a new take on a by-then-familiar monster. Superman 3 had this:
Still, I think we can all agree that, apart from the greatest line Ron Perlman ever delivered, Alien Resurrection is completely irredeemable. Right? Right?
UPDATE: After today’s script was completed, but before we published, Blomkamp clarified that his movie isn’t undoing any of the other movies. Or maybe it is. We can’t really tell. Thanks for clearing that up, Neill.