Ridley Scott is famous for creating the Alien universe with his 1979 classic film that spawned a franchise of three sequels made without Scott’s involvement—here's how he can save the franchise's future.
In 2012, Scott returned to the series and made Prometheus, a prequel to the original story. When that movie was given a lackluster reception, Scott tried again with Alien: Covenant, but was also given less-than-stellar reviews. Now, Ridley Scott has confirmed that he will return once again to the Alien franchise, though he’s unsure exactly which direction to take after the failure of his last two entries to the series. Perhaps his new show, Raised by Wolves, which could possibly be set in the same universe as Alien, could give him a refreshing break and some new ideas.
What could Scott’s return to Alien mean for the series? Does this news of his return signal an exciting turn for the franchise, or is it a foreboding sign of another film doomed for failure? Through the years, there have been many ideas for how to best expand on the Alien mythos, including several from Scott himself, so there are a lot of exciting directions a new movie could go. However, Scott has to make the best possible decisions if he truly wants to save the franchise, given the past movies' poor reception; here's how he could make it work.
How Could Ridley Scott Save The Alien Franchise?
In a recent interview with Forbes, Scott confirmed that he is, indeed, working on another Alien movie. However, he also goes on to explain that he’s unsure what direction to take.
“We went down a route to try and reinvent the wheel with Prometheus and Covenant. Whether or not we go directly back to that is doubtful because Prometheus woke it up very well. But you know, you’re asking fundamental questions like, ‘Has the alien himself, the facehugger, the chestburster, have they all run out of steam? Do you have to rethink the whole bloody thing and simply use the word to franchise?’ That’s always the fundamental question.”
It’s clear even from this quote that Scott is trying to come up with new ways to reinvent the Alien story. Unfortunately, this instinct is what led him to come up with the ill-fated prequels, Prometheus and Alien: Covenant, and may indicate a bad omen of things to come for his next movie.
The best move for Ridley Scott would be to return to the classic Alien movie, disregard the rest of the series, and then expand from there. However, whether he decides to incorporate the events of the rest of the movies or not is less important than a return to basics. Dan O’Bannon’s classic script is, by far, the best telling of the Alien story, and should be the model Scott works off of if he wants to make a successful movie that does right by his original story.
Though Dan O’Bannon has unfortunately passed away, perhaps Scott could collaborate with William Gibson to make something more akin to his rejected Alien 3 script. Another idea would be to return to Walter Hill and his Alien 5 script. While the content of his Alien 5 script has not been fully released, there are hints that it may have retconned parts of Alien 3 and Resurrection to bring the series in a new direction.
Finally, Scott could return to the basics of the Alien story by taking some notes from the classic Dark Horse Aliens comics. Set in a world where the xenomorphs have destroyed Earth and taking place after David Cameron’s Aliens, the comics focus on Hicks and Newt in a much darker and more satisfying follow-up to Aliens than the rest of the movies. Regardless of the direction Ridley Scott decides to take his new contribution to the Alien series, fans everywhere will be tentatively excited to see what he has to offer. Hopefully he’ll be able to recapture the magic of his original Alien movie, and end the franchise with a bang.