Neill Blomkamp’s Aliens Sequel: What Happened to This Unmade Movie?

Neill Blomkamp came tantalizingly close to making a sequel to James Cameron’s Aliens. What happened?

Last Updated on March 19, 2024

They say “In space no one can hear you scream.” Buuuuuuuut we’ve seen through eight Alien films that if you’re in a spaceship plenty of people can hear you scream. The Xenomorphs have no problem causing their victims a lot of pain. Even though we’ve seen them in a lot of films, fans will mostly agree that after Aliens, the franchise was never the same. But did you know that District 9 director Neill Blomkamp almost made an Aliens sequel?

In 2015, filmmaker Blomkamp announced he had been working on a new Alien project. This was even a surprise to Fox, which owned the series. Fans seemed excited by the prospect of the director taking on the project after the imaginative sci-fi films he had been releasing. Ultimately, after some starts and stops, the film would fall apart. Let’s find out exactly why here on What Happened To This Unmade Movie?

The idea of a fifth Alien was nothing new. There had been speculation for a while that a new entry could be in the works. James Cameron and Ridley Scott had both said they had ideas for another one. Cameron even went as far as starting to script out his new idea. Fox had other ideas. They decided it was finally time to bring together two of their biggest sci-fi entries. Aliens would finally fight Predators on the big screen. This had been a long-running series in comics but as of yet nothing had happened in the world of film. With the announcement of Aliens vs. Predator James Cameron soured on the idea of his new Alien film.

neill blomkamp's aliens sequel

He likened the two creatures fighting to Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman. The studio had lost faith in both series and pitted them against each other to milk as much out of the franchises as possible. He stopped working on his new idea. Although after the Alien vs. Predator film was released Cameron said he enjoyed it and thought it was really good. I wonder if he caught that a character was watching Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman in the film? Even studios know how to throw shade.

After the 2007 release of the Alien vs.Predator sequel the Xenomorphs would rest for another five years before Ridley Scott would return to the universe with Prometheus. A few years later sci-fi director Neill Blomkamp would make an interesting post on Instagram revealing some concept art for an Alien 5 film. The artwork showed a Xenomorph Queen running through a jungle-looking setting some models for other drones and some technology that would be represented in the film. The pieces that had fans really intrigued was that of Sigourney Weaver as an older Ripley and Michael Biehn as a scarred-up Hicks. His character had been killed off at the beginning of Alien 3 which angered many fans.

After much speculation Fox would finally reveal that they were working with the director on the idea for a new film. This new take would see Ellen Ripley’s return and completely retcon the events of Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection. With those two films off the board we would now see an alternate take on what happened to Ripley, Hicks and even Newt after the events of Aliens.

Fans are now used to studios going ahead with alternate continuity sequels like we saw with the Halloween franchise. Back in 2015 this was almost unheard of. The big question was would Sigourney Weaver be on board? She had played the character four times before but would she want to come back again? Not only would she but she was excited by the concept of ignoring the last two sequels.

She would also sign on to be in Blomkamp’s upcoming film Chappie. While on set Weaver and Blomkamp would discuss the movie. After their collaboration and discussion with Ridley Scott about his forthcoming Prometheus sequel Alien: Covenant Blomkamp changed his idea to fit it better with what everyone wanted to do with the film.

Very little is known about what the actual film would have been about but it was going under the name Alien: Xeno and later Alien: Awakenings. It would have seen an older Ripley presumably still telling bureaucrats that the lifeform was dangerous and no one believed her. Hicks would have been by her side and heavily scarred from the acid he was sprayed with at the end of Aliens. An adult Newt in her 20s would have been featured and Lance Henrickson’s Bishop would have returned.

neill blomkamp aliens sequel

From the concept art we can determine that we would have seen the Xenomorphs in a jungle setting. This would be a great change of pace from what we had seen previously in the franchise. We’re used to seeing them in clunky ships and mining structures. How would they use camouflage to their advantage in a green and leafy environment? Also it looked like Blomkamp was interested in playing with the idea about the biology of the xenomorph and how the host genetics determine the different forms it would take. We would also see what looks like new versions of the face-huggers we have come to know.

Some reports indicate that this film would have served as a send-off for both Ellen Ripley and Sigourney Weaver while positioning the adult Newt as the new heroine to take over for the series. Would fans rally around an adult Newt for more sequels? Maybe. There hasn’t been much to hold onto in the series since Ripley’s clone made her appearance in Alien: Resurrection.

Fox held off giving the film the greenlight until Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant was released. The film ended up underperforming at the box office which made them cancel any upcoming Alien projects. Blomkamp took the decision pretty hard and he left the Hollywood system. He took the time to re-evaluate what he wanted to do with his career. Instead of being a for-hire director he founded Oats Studios to develop his own ideas.

The Alien cancellation still seems to affect him. While he was doing the publicity rounds for GranTurismo during an interview with Uproxx he was asked about his time developing the film. He responded that he couldn’t care less about what happened to his Alien movie and wanted to move on with the interview. It ended pretty quickly after this.

Sigourney Weaver herself has decided to step away from the franchise entirely. During an interview with Total Film Magazine in 2023 she said that the ship has sailed on the idea of playing Ripley again. She stated she really wanted to do the Blomkamp film but after that was canceled she had no interest in returning to the character.

When Ridley Scott was asked about the film he said it never really got any movement outside of a 10-page treatment. A script hadn’t been written and nothing really progressed after the initial discussions with Blomkamp. After the poor performance of Alien: Covenant Fox shelved any ideas and it sat collecting dust.

Since all this Disney has purchased 20th Century Studios and moved forward on several Alien projects. A new film titled Alien: Romulus is scheduled to hit screens on August 16th of this year from director Fede Alvarez. The film is said to take place between Alien and Aliens once again moving around in the franchise’s timeline.

In addition to that Noah Hawley is working on an Alien TV series. With both projects going it would be interesting to see if the new owners of Fox would be interested in returning to Blomkamp’s idea. If not could Marvel at least give us a comic book series showing what could have happened? If there’s money to made I’m sure Disney would be happy to.

Fans never got to see Ripley suit up again to take on the ferocious Xenomorphs and sadly it looks like we never will. Would Blomkamp’s film have rebooted interest in the franchise?

Maybe. Of course after the failure of the last Ridley Scott film perhaps the time just wasn’t right. We’ll never know. After Alien: Romulus is released maybe there will once again be an interest in the property and we can see if we can get Sigourney Weaver to go back on her decision to retire from the Alien killing business. We can only hope.

About the Author

Bryan Wolford is a feature writer for JoBlo, and also writes scripts for both JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals, including a multi-part retrospective on the Highlander franchise. When not writing for the site, he’s an avid podcaster.