Exclusive: Neill Blomkamp Shares More About His Alien Movie
'At least one film, if not more...'
Speaking on this week's Empire Podcast - which you can play via the SoundCloud embed below, or download to listen to at your leisure via this RSS feed or our iTunes page - District 9, Elysium and Chappie director Neill Blomkamp talked about how he ended up at the helm of a new Alien movie. Here is a healthy chunk of what he had to say, but for more, be sure to check out the podcast itself...
"2014 was a really weird year for me because I usually know quite decisively what I want to do, and in the process of post-production on Chappie, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do. I had a bunch of different ideas for different films. My favourite, on a gut instinct, artistic level, was Alien, by a long way.
"But I had this inhibiting mental roadblock about wanting to work on my own stuff – and not being held accountable, whether it’s by a studio or by fans, or whoever, I just wanted to be left alone to do my stuff. That’s kind of a big deal for me.
"If you go back even three or four years, I’ve wanted to make a film in that genre, in that franchise. I’d come up with an idea, and when I met Sigourney (Weaver) on the set of Chappie, I presumed that she would never want to play Ripley again. Rightly or wrongly, I had that in my head. I also didn’t know where you could go with her, given Alien 3 and 4.
"So when I started speaking to her, I just wanted to know more about the process of making the first two films. The first two are the ones that I care about. Then I started to realise there was a whole film – at least a film, if not more – that still contained Ripley, which I was really surprised by.
"So when I went back to Vancouver for 2014 unclear of what I wanted to make, I knew that my artistic compass kept driving me to Alien. Whenever I wasn’t needed on Chappie, I spent time on Alien, to the point where I hired my own concept artist and fleshed the entire movie out, basically. Even then, I still didn’t know if I wanted to do it.
"Every film I do, I genuinely believe it’s the last I’ll do. I didn’t think I’d make another film, let alone a big studio one. But it came from a place of love, and I was like, ‘If I’m a fan, then other fans should see the stuff.’ Here’s one person’s take on it, you know? So Fox didn’t know.
"I saw Sigourney again, and her enthusiasm in it, and me still not knowing what I was doing... Well, the thing that actually made it really clear was that we have xenomorphs all over the house [including drinking glasses depicting graphic scenes from the films]. No bullshit, that actually is what made me realise that there’s a massive portion of my brain that’s taken up by the world of the xenomorph. And I’m like, ‘Hmm. Valid point.'"
If the words "at least a film, if not more" are what stand out for you, then you're not the only one to think that. Still a long way from production, Blomkamp's Alien movie has no set release date.