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Anghus Houvouras on why more franchises should embrace the Alien model…
First off, let’s go ahead and address the giant-sized Space Jockey in the room: When referring to ‘The Alien model’, I’m taking about the original four films. I’m not talking about the ridiculous Alien vs. Predator duology or the beautifully rancid idiocy of Prometheus and the poison fruits that eventually will fall from it.
I wrote a column last week about the most banal and overused metaphor to describe the second film in a franchise in a little hate letter called “Does every second movie have to be Empire Strikes Back” [read it here]. A good conversation ensued and someone brought up an example of one of the best second franchise films ever produced: James Cameron’s masterpiece Aliens.
It got me thinking: Why don’t more franchises embrace the Alien model. A model that saw the story and »
- Anghus Houvouras
AMC is bringing the horror this Halloween season with their annual FearFest. Kicking off on October 13th, the 20th anniversary of FearFest will include more than 80 movies, over 400 hours of cinematic programming, a massive The Walking Dead marathon, and a special retrospective that will look back at the iconic living dead series.
Press Release: New York, NY, October 11, 2016 – To mark the 20th anniversary of AMC FearFest, one of TV’s longest-running annual thematic programming celebrations, the network will offer the largest collection of horror and genre film titles in its history. AMC FearFest, which provided a launching pad for “The Walking Dead” when the show premiered in 2010, this year will feature more than 400 hours of horror and genre programming, including a full 88-hour six-season catch-up marathon of every episode of “The Walking Dead,” an all-new two-hour retrospective special and the highly anticipated season seven premiere on October 23.
AMC Fearfest runs on AMC for 19 days, »
- Derek Anderson
22 Jump Street
The Five Year Engagement
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
Continue reading »
- Benjamin Lee
As we’ve surely hammered into your head by now, District 9 director Neill Blomkamp is working on a sequel to Aliens that will essentially wipe the events of Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection off the slate, with both Sigourney Weaver… Continue Reading →
- John Squires
With the bizarre tonal hurricane of Prometheus still troubling Alien fanatics the recent news that Neill Blomkamp’s eagerly-awaited Alien sequel (given the name Alien 5, though it would forget that Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection ever happened) was being pushed back to allow Sir Ridley to finish another Alien prequel was something of a disappointment. […]
- Jon Lyus
Job Willins is an editor who loves getting to the heart of the matter. He’s the hand behind recent re-cuts such as “Ripley” which reconfigured “Alien 3” and “Alien: Resurrection” into a single black-and-white film, and “Derelict,” which put together “Alien” and “Prometheus” into a distinct feature. Now he’s turned his attention to one of the year’s […]
- Kevin Jagernauth
One of the many movies celebrating a milestone anniversary this year is the beloved 1986 sci-fi sequel Aliens, director James Cameron's follow-up to Ridley Scott's 1979 masterpiece Alien. This franchise is alive and well, with Ridley Scott currently filming Alien: Covenant, a follow-up to 2012's Prometheus that will help bridge the gap between the prequel and the original Alien. Filmmaker Neill Blomkamp is also putting together a project tentatively known as Alien 5, but we don't know when that will move forward quite yet. While celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Aliens at Comic-Con this weekend, director James Cameron revealed the Alien franchise's biggest mistake.
Screen Rant attended the Aliens 30th Anniversary panel at Sdcc, which included James Cameron, producer Gale Ann Hurd and stars Sigourney Weaver (Ripley), Bill Paxton (Hudson), Lance Henriksen (Bishop), Paul Reiser (Burke), Michael Biehn (Hicks) and Carrie Henn (Newt). While the sequel is still beloved by fans around the world, »
After winning two awards at the Venice Film Festival last year (Best First Film and Best Director in the Horizons section), Brady Corbet’s striking “The Childhood of a Leader” is now in theaters. Le CiNéMa Club is celebrating that release by screening the actor-turned-filmmaker’s short film “Protect You + Me,” which he wrote and directed when he was 18.
Darius Khondji (“Alien: Resurrection,” “Midnight in Paris,” “The Immigrant”) shot the film on 35mm; he and Corbet also worked together on Michael Haneke’s English-language remake of his own “Funny Games.” “Protect You + Me” won an honorable mention at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009. Here’s the 11-minute short’s synopsis: “The reminder of a long forgotten event, combined with a challenging situation, provokes a man to extreme reaction while at a dinner with his mother. »
- Michael Nordine
The first sequel to the film “Alien,” stars Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley, the sole survivor of the attack on the Nostromo, as she returns to the planet where her crew encountered the Alien, only this time with a crew of space marines. Naturally, everything goes wrong, and it’s up to Ripley to stop another attack from killing her and a traumatized young girl named Newt (Carrie Henn).
Now, the film’s cast are celebrating the anniversary with a panel at this year’s Comic-Con, with a live stream Q&A featuring questions from audience members and the Internet. The people participating include James Cameron, producer Gale Anne Hurd, Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Paul Reiser, »
- Vikram Murthi
Since any New York cinephile has a nearly suffocating wealth of theatrical options, we figured it’d be best to compile some of the more worthwhile repertory showings into one handy list. Displayed below are a few of the city’s most reliable theaters and links to screenings of their weekend offerings — films you’re not likely to see in a theater again anytime soon, and many of which are, also, on 35mm. If you have a chance to attend any of these, we’re of the mind that it’s time extremely well-spent.
The “Cassavetes/Rowlands” series ends on a real high note.
- Nick Newman
Set to take the helm of Ridley Scott’s titular space vessel, McBride took to Instagram to post one final look into what we assume to be the cockpit of the Covenant, promising that, “Ridley is going to scare the shit out of you.” Given the awe-inspiring set photos coupled with the promise of a Xenomorph slithering onto the scene, we’re inclined to believe him.
Hoping to correct course after the largely underwhelming Prometheus – it was by no means Alien: Resurrection, but Scott’s prequel spinoff paled in comparison to the director’s original classic – Alien Covenant is the second chapter in the filmmaker’s planned prequel trilogy, one that has subsequently ordered Neill Blomkamp’s proposed Alien sequel to the shelf, for now. Should that plan take shape, »
- Michael Briers
Before Ridley Scott decided to press ahead with his Prometheus sequel / Alien prequel Alien: Covenant, District 9 director Neill Blomkamp was gearing up to enter the Alien universe with a sequel to the first two movies, which would have saw Sigourney Weaver returning as Ripley alongside her Aliens co-star Michael Biehn as Hicks. Although it is now on indefinite hold, Weaver has revealed to EW that she’s still committed to the project and feels it will deliver a satisfying ending for her character.
“We have a great script. Fox asked us to delay so Ridley Scott could shoot his [second] Prometheus movie. That was too bad because we would have already done it by now. It’s a great story and it’s satisfying to me to give this woman an ending. The script itself has so much in it that’s so original, but also really satisfies the, I would say, »
- Gary Collinson
The untitled Neill Blomkamp “Alien” film is set to feature the return of Sigourney Weaver (Ripley) and Michael Biehn (Cpl. Hicks). Even though the plot for the film is currently unknown, we have been provided with some awesome concept art that showcased a scarred Hicks, a battle ready Ripley, and an all grown up Newt. Earlier last year, it was revealed by Blomkamp that his new Alien film will take place after Aliens, and ignore the events of Alien 3 and 4. “My favorites are the first two movies, so I want to make a film that’s connected to Alien and Aliens. That’s my goal. I’m not trying to undo Alien 3 or Alien: Resurrection, I just want it to be connected to Alien 1 and 2.” The Aliens sequel was set to be released next year, however, the filming of Ridley Scott’s Prometheus-sequel caused Fox to shelve Blomkamp’s project. »
Ryan Lambie Simon Brew Aug 2, 2016
Update: When director Neill Blomkamp shared some pieces of concept art for his proposed Aliens sequel last year, it not only floated the possibility of a returning Sigourney Weaver, but also Michael Biehn's quietly-spoken Colonial Marine, Dwayne Hicks. As dreamed up by Blomkamp, Alien 5 would follow on from James Cameron's Aliens, ignoring the divisive (to say the least) Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection and proposing an alternate timeline where Ripley, Hicks and young survivor Newt all survived.
Alien 5's had its ups and downs since, with Fox first reviving the project following a positive reaction to Blomkamp's artwork, and then the project going on the backburner again to make way for Ridley Scott's Alien: Covenant, due out in 2017. Speaking with Forbes in the wake of »
Ridley Scott is just about done filming "Alien: Covenant" in Sydney, Australia where he's been working on the project for a good few months. The "Prometheus" follow-up is slated to hit in August next year and was the cause of another project set within the "Alien" universe being put on hold - Neill Blomkamp's proposed direct sequel to "Aliens".
There's still hope the film will go ahead though, Scott himself is an executive producer on it and series star Sigourney Weaver is still quite keen to revisit. Speaking with EW this week, the actress revealed a few more scant details about the story which will serve as a different conclusion to Ripley's story:
"I hope it won't be a few (years). I hope it'll be a couple. But we'll see... It's a great story and it's satisfying to me to give this woman an ending…The script itself has »
- Garth Franklin
I’ve already logged my complaints with Neill Blomkamp’s revisionist Alien 5, and truth be told, I wouldn’t mind a bit if the project ultimately fell by the wayside. Needless to say, that viewpoint puts me at odds with series star Sigourney Weaver, who is eager to see Blomkamp's vision realized -- though it sounds like it may be awhile before that happens. "[20th Century] Fox asked us to delay so Ridley Scott could shoot his [second] Prometheus movie [Alien: Covenant]," Weaver told EW in a recent interview. "That was too bad because we would have already done it by now." Indeed, as previously reported, Alien 5 was backburnered to make room for Alien: Covenant, the Prometheus sequel/Alien prequel that’s currently shooting in Australia with stars Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, and Danny McBride, among others (you can watch Drew’s recent interview with McBride and his Vice Principals co-creator Jody Hill below, during »
- Chris Eggertsen
On May 9th, 1986, John Badham’s Short Circuit debuted in theaters nationwide. The family adventure film with a sci-fi twist starred Steve Guttenberg, Ally Sheedy, and Fisher Stevens as a group of humans trying to protect a sentient robot by the name of Number 5—as he’s known to the government agencies chasing him—who goes rogue after electrocution causes him to develop a sense of identity and the constant need for “more input.”
Short Circuit was a smash success upon its release, opening number one at the box office and eventually taking in over $40 million during its theatrical run in the spring and early summer of 1986. And while Short Circuit did as well as it did partly because of the actors involved, there’s no denying that it was the film’s robotic co-star that pretty much stole the film and became a huge part of mid-’80s pop culture as well. »
- Heather Wixson
Louisa Mellor Jul 13, 2016
When Blue Sky Studios was tasked with creating swimming CGI Xenomorphs for the fourth film in the Alien franchise, its animators looked to inspiration from the natural world. Aptly for Hr Giger’s demonic creations, said inspiration was found in a Galapagos Island creature nicknamed by Charles Darwin the “imp of darkness”.
“We patterned [the Xenomorphs’] movements on reference footage of sea iguanas” Blue Sky’s Digital Effects Supervisor for Alien: Resurrection Mitch Kopelman told American Cinematographer magazine in November 1997. “They have this crazy little swim where they tuck their legs under their bodies and use this really long tail to propel themselves.” After much work, the end result was the CGI swimming aliens that pursued Ellen Ripley and co. through the flooded kitchens of the Usm Auriga in the 1997 sequel. »
One thing I’ve always appreciated about the Alien franchise is that it has never failed to spin itself off in interesting creative directions. In an age when the biggest movies in the universe are a series of same-y (not necessarily bad) Marvel superhero sequels and spinoffs -- and the most popular movie of the last several years is essentially a remake of the first film in the same series -- the sci-fi/horror/action franchise kicked off by Ridley Scott in 1979 stands as a refreshing counterpoint to the “blockbuster by rote” rulebook that often plagues modern Hollywood. For those who loathed Alien 3 and its followup Alien: Resurrection, Sigourney Weaver’s recent claim in an interview with EW that the plot of Neill Blomkamp’s Alien 5 will ignore that those films ever happened no doubt came as a welcome bit of news. Yet I can’t help but wonder »
- Chris Eggertsen
How long it will be until (or even if) we see Neill Blomkamp's proposed direct "Aliens" sequel is anyone's guess at the moment, but it is becoming clearer that the film won't even try to incorporate "Alien 3" or "Alien: Resurrection".
As part of celebrating the 30th anniversary of James Cameron's "Aliens," EW has done a new story on the film and included some interview quotes from those involved. First up there's franchise star Sigourney Weaver who is slated to return for the film and essentially confirmed the new movie will diverge from the pre-existing movies:
"It's just as if, you know, the path forks and one direction goes off to three and four and another direction goes off to Neill's movie... I always wanted to complete this story and it wasn't really until Neill and I started talking that I said, 'This is why we waited however many years its been. »
- Garth Franklin
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