Alien Day Is Here, So Let’s Talk About Franchise And Its Future


Alien is my favourite franchise of all time, without a shadow of a doubt. There’s not really a franchise quite like it. I remember the first time I watched Ridley Scott’s 1979 Alien movie. I was both terrified and in awe of what I was seeing.

The design of the Xenomorph, the creepy atmosphere on the Nostromo, the odd retro look of the screens and dials in that spaceship, the grime, the dirt in space, Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley…

Then, there was that odd Disk Jockey guy on the moon that the crew landed on. Even the moon’s name was strange: LV-426. I could tell when I was watching it that this film was unlike anything I had ever watched before.

How my obsession with Alien started


Credit: 20th Century Studios

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I know this might sound a bit corny, but watching Alien when I did kind of changed my life. It was the movie that got me into the idea of talking about films. I also had a dream of one day making and starring in movies – I’m manifesting that that day will still come!

I was obsessed with all things Alien. I went out and bought the Alien movie box set and watched them all in one sitting.

James Cameron’s Aliens, David Fincher’s Alien 3 and then Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Alien Resurrection. I enjoyed them all – even Alien 3.

I remember even being excited to go and watch Alien Vs Predator at the cinema. I was there on opening night, and even though Paul W. S. Anderson’s movie wasn’t brilliant, I still enjoyed it.

I watched that movie again recently, and I thought it was pretty decent. However, it’s nowhere near as good as the other Alien movies.

I would argue that even Alien 3 is better than it. However, it was certainly a whole lot better than Alien Vs Predator: Requiem, which was a horrible, dark mess of a movie.

Ridley’s return to the franchise


Credit: 20th Century Studios

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All of that was followed by Ridley Scott’s return to the franchise he had created. I remember when it was announced that Scott was making a new Alien movie—I was probably far too excited.

I just thought that the franchise was in a pretty bad way, especially after the two Alien Vs Predator offerings. It was a bit of a joke of a franchise and we hadn’t seen a genuinely decent Alien flick since Aliens.

Even though I enjoyed Alien 3, Alien: Resurection and Alien Vs Predator, let’s be honest here, they weren’t very good films. They weren’t as good as the movies that Scott and Cameron made.

They are in a completely different class, and I felt that it was time for the Alien franchise to be brought back in a big way so that we, the fans, could actually watch a genuinely good, scary and thrilling picture.

That’s why the return of Ridley Scott to the franchise was so important to me. Well, I went to watch Prometheus on opening night, and I was so disappointed by that film.

The thing is, when I revisited the movie, I ended up liking it a whole lot more than when I watched it at the cinema.

Scott then followed Prometheus up with Alien: Covenant, and I’m going to be honest here, when I was watching it on the big screen, I thoroughly enjoyed the film.

I would argue that Michael Fassbender did a lot of heavy lifting, but I really did have a good time with it. The thing is, the movie hasn’t aged very well.

It was disjointed, not terribly well written, and it made no real sense as far as the Alien mythology was concerned. Before writing this feature, I went back and rewatched a number of the Alien films, and Alien: Covenant was the one that disappointed me the most.

I felt as though it was a reaction to the negative reviews that Prometheus got, and I’m sure that there was a lot of studio interference with it.

I don’t think that Alien: Covenant was the film that Ridley Scott wanted to make. It resulted in a bit of a mess of a movie, and it didn’t give me the Alien fix I was looking for.

Alien: Isolation – best in class


Credit: Sega

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I can’t really talk about the Alien franchise without mentioning the video game that was released, which was easily the best thing to come out of the franchise in years.

I’m talking about Alien: Isolation, which was a video game developed by a British game studio called Creative Assembly. I thought it was just wonderful. It brought me right back to the original Alien movie that was released way back in 1979.

You play Ripley’s daughter, Amanda Ripley, who ends up on the pretty much-abandoned spaceship, the Sevastopol, in search of her mother, who’s been missing for 15 years (after the events of the original Alien film, of course).

It’s a first-person survival horror game, and it puts you right in the heart of the action. You’re having the hide from Xenomorphs and demented androids who have gone rogue and want to kill everything they see.

It’s just brilliant. I loved it so much that I actually went and read the novelisation after having played the game, which then opened me up to the vast world of Alien books. I hadn’t known that so many books set in the universe had been written, and I devoured them all.

I went through a phase of just reading and listening to all the books and comic books set in the Alien universe that I could. I will be honest; they ended up feeling quite similar to one another, but I enjoyed them nonetheless.

The future of the Alien franchise


Credit: 20th Century Studios

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Now, it’s time to look into the future. As you might know already, 20th Century Fox was purchased by Disney, which means that the House Of Mouse now owns the Alien franchise.

This means that the next projects to come out of the franchise will technically be overseen by the executives at Disney. Well, technically it’ll be people at 20th Century Studios and FX, but both of those production companies are now under the Disney umbrella.

So, what does this mean? Well, as far as I’m concerned, not much. I don’t think Disney is going to be fiddling around with the franchise a whole lot. They seem to be pretty confident in the people working over at 20th Century Studios and FX.

They’re basically letting them do whatever they want. Look at the shows and movies they’ve released since Disney’s acquisition of Fox.

We’ve seen shows like The Bear, Shōgun, What We Do In The Shadows, The Old Man, Reservation Dogs… And then we’ve seen 20th Century Studios release the likes of Prey (the best Predator film released in decades), Hellraiser, Boston Strangler, Free Guy, and The Creator.

I picked the movies and shows that I liked, but there are a whole lot more to list. What I’m trying to say here is that since Disney’s takeover of 20th Century Fox, the quality hasn’t dipped. If anything, it’s increased.

It was very interesting listening to an interview recently with the director of The Creator, Gareth Edwards. He made a movie that a lot of studios would have backed away from.

He basically made a Hollywood blockbuster on a shoestring budget. This is something that companies like Disney would have shied away from in the past.

However, Disney and 20th Century Studios let Edwards do what he wanted to do. Granted, the movie didn’t perform all that well at the box office, but it was an original sci-fi IP (intellectual property), which we don’t see in Hollywood anymore.

I think that he made a genuinely good picture that will be revisited in the future, and people will find it on streaming and realise how good a film it really was.

A new Alien movie is coming


Credit: 20th Century Studios

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So, back to the Alien franchise. All of this is to say that I think the future of the franchise is bright. We’ve got two projects coming out that I’m really looking forward to seeing.

The first one is Alien: Romulus, which Fede Álvarez is directing. I’ve really enjoyed Fede’s movies in the past. He made the likes of Don’t Breathe and the Evil Dead remake. They’re both terrific horror movies that I highly recommend you watch if you haven’t already.

They released the movie’s trailer not that long ago, and it looks very promising indeed. It looks like a return to Ridley Scott’s Alien movie, and I am all for that.

You can watch the film’s trailer for yourselves below:

I have seen people claim that the movie looks a little bit unoriginal, but I thought that it captured the look and feel of Scott and Cameron’s movies very well.

This film will star the likes of Cailee Spaeny as Rain Carradine, David Jonsson as Andy, Archie Renaux, Isabela Merced as Kay, Spike Fearn and Aileen Wu. Here’s the film’s official plot synopsis (via IMDb):

While scavenging the deep ends of a derelict space station, a group of young space colonizers come face to face with the most terrifying life form in the universe.

Noah Hawley’s Alien series


Credit: 20th Century Studios

I’m all in on Alien: Romulus, but that’s not the project I’m most excited to see. What I’m really looking forward to watching is Noah Hawley’s Alien series that he’s making for FX.

This project has been in development for a very long time, but it sounds as though it’s nearing completion, and I just can’t wait to watch it!

Hawley has written the show’s scripts, and he’s the showrunner and will be directing all of the episodes. This is why I’m so excited to watch it.

If you don’t know who Hawley is, he’s probably one of the most talented people working in the industry today. He’s the person behind the Fargo series, which is easily the best show that I’ve watched in a very, very long time.

He also made the superhero show Legion for FX, which I would argue is one of the best superhero shows ever made, but not that many people talk about it.

It elevated the superhero genre to something beyond my wildest dreams. It was just terrific and ended far too early. But all of this is to say that Noah Hawley is incredible, and the fact that he’s doing something set in the Alien universe is very exciting.

The series will star Sydney ChandlerAlex LawtherSamuel Blenkin, Essie DavisAdarsh Gourav, Kit Young, Timothy Olyphant, David Rysdahl, Babou Ceesay, Jonathan Ajayi, Erana James, Lily Newmark, Diêm Camille and Adrian Edmondson.

Now, that’s what I call a cast. Sydney Chanler is a wonderful actor, and having Timothy Olyphant appear in an Alien property really makes me look forward to seeing what happens in this show.

The Hollywood Reporter reported that the series is going to be a prequel to Scott’s Alien film. It’ll take place roughly 30 years before the events in the movie.

During an interview, Hawley also confirmed that the series will be more connected to the style and mythology of the original 1979 film rather than the prequel films Prometheus, and Alien: Covenant.

This is everything I wanted to hear about this Alien show. It sounds like it’s going to be right up my street and could even right the wrongs done in Scott’s last two Alien movies. Honestly, nothing would make me happier.

As far as the Alien mythology is concerned, I really thought that those movies missed the mark and just made everybody a whole lot more confused than they were before.

So, there you have it. I hope this feature was as fun for you to read as it was for me to write. I know it was long, but there was a lot of cover, and I have a lot of say about Alien, as you can probably tell.

What do you make of this feature?

Are you having a happy Alien day…?

Which is your favourite movie in the franchise?

I’d love to hear from you!

You can stream all the movies on Disney Plus right now.