If there is one thing that has been pretty consistent about the Alien franchise over the years it is that fact that it’s future is pretty unclear. Back in 2012 Ridley Scott’s return to the franchise with Prometheus was looked upon as the thing that was going to save the films after many years of sequels and spinoffs (vs Predator films) that hadn’t been as beloved as the original Alien and Aliens films.
Unfortunately Scott’s return was a lot more divisive than expected but it did manage to bring in $403.4 million at the worldwide box office and secure a sequel.
With the gorier Alien:Covenant, which basically mashed Prometheus and the original Alien together into one film, having only brought in $232 at the box office the studio is one again in a holding pattern with the franchise.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, with Scott busy working on the Getty kidnapping film All the Money in the World & the drug lord drama The Cartel the studio is reassessing the multiple sequel plans that Scott had for the franchise. Those plans had reportedly included a film that would have essentially connected back to the original Alien in some way.
With the sequel bringing in far less than Scott’s original return to the franchise, Fox’s hesitance to move forward with one to three more films is understandable. The franchise was just one of many on the list by THR that had experienced new lows as they have begun to age and reach a point where audiences want something new.
Following the divisive nature of Prometheus, Scott went off to work on other films like The Martian and Fox seemed content to move on to a pitch from Neil Blomkamp for Alien 5 which would have brought back Sigourney Weaver and would have effectively ignored all the films that came after Aliens.
Once Scott came back and pushed forward with his Prometheus sequel plans, Blomkamp’s film was put on hold and then eventually all but scrapped in favor of Scott’s planned potential trilogy.
Bringing Blomkamp or someone like him in with new ideas for the franchise could be the path ahead for the studio, if they truly want to breathe more life into it and avoid further declines at the box office.