It was recently announced by Fox that their “ReadWatchPlay” campaign for the Amanda Ripley character won’t include new Alien movies. Even alluding that zero movies are currently in development over at 20th Century Fox.
However, since it does look like Alien: Awakening and Alien 5 are now off the table maybe when Disney finalizes the deal with 21st Century Fox in March (not confirmed) they’ll again take a look at the franchise and kick around new ideas.
For whatever reason, franchise producers and the studio thought it was a good idea to add Ellen Ripley or an adult Newt (Rebecca Jordan from Aliens) to the end scene of The Predator, despite the two films having about a hundred years between them (thankfully we adverted that mess). I think people like John Davis are full of bad ideas and I really hope with the merger we start to get some fresh eyes on both Alien and Predator movies.
One way I think is the smartest is give Amanda Ripley her own string of films. Mainly, because of the success of Alien: Isolation as it sold 2.1 million copies. Because of this, there is a large international/generational awareness of Amanda Ripley. As much as I love Sigourney Weaver and want Ellen Ripley to come back her age becomes a ticking clock, even Neill Blomkamp had suggested wanting to hand off the franchise to a resurrected Newt/Rebecca in a hypothetical Alien 6.
We’ve already seen that Fox has an interest in the Amanda Ripley character with a focus on her for a new comic book titled Alien: Resistance, the new game Alien: Blackout, and some mystery project (possibly a live-action/CG series/short) they claim won’t be film related.
The awareness of Amanda is higher than it would be for a new character as seen with Katherine Waterston’s Daniels, who didn’t exactly excite audiences as Ridley Scott had hoped. I think a soft-reboot is something we’ve seen become a popular way to continue franchises we’ve seen these with Disney’s new Skywalker saga via The Force Awakens (original actors handing over to the new generation) and we’ll see it later this year with Tim Miller’s Terminator soft-reboot, as that film goes an extra step of ignoring the sequels after Terminator 2: Judgement Day (something that was seemingly borrowed from Blomkamp’s Alien 5).
WHO SHOULD DIRECT AND STAR IN AN AMANDA RIPLEY MOVIE?
I’m sure a lot of fans will have ideas and suggestions for who should end up playing Amanda Ripley, some thinking they should be a complete lookalike to Weaver or the character model used in Alien: Isolation, but I have someone in mind that could make an excellent modern Ripley.
I’d love to see British actress Elizabeth Debicki play Amanda, who has played both villains and sympathetic characters giving her a slight edge that I think Ellen Ripley had. Ellen always had a chip on her shoulder and if the crew listened to her in the original film, most of them would be still alive. One trait she shares with Sigourney Weaver they’re both over six feet tall.
Debicki’s film and television credits have her dabbling in all sorts of genres with Widows, Guardians of The Galaxy Vol.2, The Great Gatsby, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Night Manager, and Cloverfield Paradox.
What about a director?
I really think that Destroyer and The Invitation director Karyn Kusama (Jennifer’s Body, Aeon Flux) could really give fans something special and gritty set in our beloved Alien universe. She certainly has the ability needed to give us a science fiction horror film (has tackled the horror genre which should be a requirement) and it would be nice to see a female director finally tackle a female-centric franchise like Alien.
Kusama also has a link to Alien/Prometheus director Ridley Scott as she helmed two episodes of The Man In The High Castle, Ridley produces the series via his production company Scott Free Productions.
I’m hopeful that 20th Century Fox will announce something film related within the next year or two once that Disney nabs the reigns over the studio, but it will be a wait-and-see situation. I just feel like making an Amanda Ripley focused film could be a way to continue the franchise if they don’t end up making Alien 5 because I get the impression that fans like myself want a real return of the xenomorphs, not a haphazard return like seen in Alien: Covenant.
Only time will tell.