Why Disney Needs to Completely Reboot the Alien Franchise

Matthew Loffhagen
20th Century Fox
(Photo: 20th Century Fox)

Ridley Scott has been speaking this week about his desire to continue making “Alien” movies now that the entire franchise is under the banner of the almighty Disney empire.

Scott has previously shown a dedicated interest in continuing to “keep cranking” out movies in this franchise (that’s an exact quote from his own mouth that describes his process here).

While the director is apparently capable of truly impressive directorial feats such as “All the Money in the World”, it is looking increasingly like Scott treats the “Alien” series as his personal retirement fund; a brand to dip back into any time he needs an influx of cash.

Disney really shouldn’t let Scott anywhere near the “Alien” franchise any time soon, for one big reason: Ridley Scott doesn’t actually want to make “Alien” movies. Both “Prometheus” and “Covenant” have shown that Scott is far more interested in telling weirdly Christian-themed stories about crazy robots with the face of Michael Fassbender.

Michael Fassbender
Source: 20th Century Fox

If this is what Scott wants to do, fine, let him have his own little franchise that people can, by and large, easily avoid if they don’t want to see it. In the meantime, let’s split the “Alien” franchise off entirely, and get a more artistically fresh director to reboot the series entirely.

At the heart of “Alien” is a scary, scary monster. We don’t need to see the monster to know that it’s scary, and we don’t need some big narrative about how important this creature is. The title of the movie is an indicator to how generic and broad the themes here are: original “Alien” is simply a movie about an alien, terrorizing some poor shlubs who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The sequel built upon this, replacing space truckers with generic, expendable space soldiers. The reason why no subsequent movie in the franchise ever managed to top these first two instalments is that we’ve since delved far too deep into the mythos and the danger of the series.

Let’s got for a clean slate. Wipe away all of the lore and the thematic backlog. Start again, with a small band of scared space travelers, as they’re picked off one-by-one by a terrible, invisible alien monster.

Perhaps this movie would have the same xenomorph at its core. Alternatively, the film could go in a different direction, giving us a fresh alien that pays homage to the original creature, while adding in new monstrous abilities and powers.

Alien Kitchen Scene
Source: 20th Century Fox

Give us a fresh bunch of humans to be killed, in a new spaceship design. Heck, with the size of the “Alien” universe, this could even be set in the same continuity as other movies; a soft reboot of sorts that takes place so far away from established events that we don’t ever see a Ripley or a David or anyone from Weyland-Utani.

What “Alien” needs is a new approach. Get, for example, David F Sandberg, the acclaimed director of “Lights Out” and “Annabelle: Creation”. He’s currently doing “Captain Marvel” “Shazam!” for Warner Bros, but that won’t last forever, and the “Alien” series could do with a rest for a few years anyway.

If the “Alien” brand is going to mean anything in a few years, it needs a fresh director with a new vision for the future. Not just Ridley Scott recreating visuals from his older movies while simultaneously trying to distract us with a story about Christian robots.

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