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Neill Blomkamp Talks About Getting Alien 5

With his newest film, Chappie, due out later this week Neill Blomkamp is doing the press rounds promoting it. In a chat with IGN UK for their podcast, they talked quite candidly and in detail about how his Alien 5 project came together:

“My apprehension with Alien was that I had never worked with someone else’s material. And not even someone else – at this point it was like… I’m going to count Fincher in with the third one, even though the third one I don’t like as much as the first two. But they’re all three awesome filmmakers. So it’s not about living up to it and being nervous about it, I just don’t want other people to tell me what to do. Which is a different thing.”

100502_02 Neill Blomkamp Talks About Getting Alien 5

This is the lengthiest and best interview with Neill so far. He talks about how he is feeling in regards to Alien 5, about the aesthetics of Alien Isolation and how that has made him rethink his design choices and more. Definitely worth giving it a read! Thanks to The Eighth Passenger for the tip.



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  1. The Cruentus
    I fail to want to live in a world where critics give generally positive reviews over Thor Iron Man hype bait sequel train: sponsored by Mountain Dew: Doritos Burst 3 but don't give the same kind of opinions of Chappie. I mean the film definitely has downright flaws, but how the hell is it getting more negative reviews than say, a series of movies that suck ass.

    I think these days critics can be too biased for their own good, look at IGN, the review that one guy gave Isolation was not only wrong but controversial because we all knew it was based on bias and frustration(of course hard mode is going to be hard  :P) Isolation turned out to be one of the best games around and reviewed as such, its also arguably the best Alien game since AVP2 by monolith.
  2. Son Of Kane
    I fail to want to live in a world where critics give generally positive reviews over Thor Iron Man hype bait sequel train: sponsored by Mountain Dew: Doritos Burst 3 but don't give the same kind of opinions of Chappie. I mean the film definitely has downright flaws, but how the hell is it getting more negative reviews than say, a series of movies that suck ass.

    Those films don't suck, it's just like a James Bond film- they're now familiar, comfortable and generally well made territory.
    You'd struggle to find an original one among them, GoTG being the exception.

    Chappie is original, it has a tougher job garnering appeal.
  3. NetworkATTH
    I fail to want to live in a world where critics give generally positive reviews over Thor Iron Man hype bait sequel train: sponsored by Mountain Dew: Doritos Burst 3 but don't give the same kind of opinions of Chappie. I mean the film definitely has downright flaws, but how the hell is it getting more negative reviews than say, a series of movies that suck ass.
  4. TimmyTurnersDad
    Absolutely true, Ebert also didn't give Brazil a glowing review either but now it's a cult classic.

    Which is a shame, I think, since Ebert was spot-on with that call. My favorite Terry Gilliam film is 12 Monkeys, but the whole debate on that and the problems of Brazil is a whole other topic entirely. :)

    That said, I do agree that the critics can be wrong about films. It's not uncommon among now-classic films to find that they received negative reviews at the time of their release. However I can't really think of (m)any films that have had that happen since the rise of the Internet. Can anyone provide more recent examples of this happening?
  5. Valaquen
    Unfortunately the reviews of Chappie are not encouraging but public opinion can always be different to critic's, I believe the first predator wasn't given good reviews but was better received after some time passed but most of us probably loved it regardless.

    A lot of professional critics didn't like ALIEN either: https://alienseries.wordpress.com/2012/10/29/bad-alien-reviews/

    Ebert wrote what I thought was a pretty disinterested review of PREDATOR as well.

    I guess it's up to the audiences and, if a film does have merit, the critics catch up eventually.
  6. The Cruentus
    Sorry Adam but Blomkamp's Alien so far sounds like a whiney butt hurt fanboy's fan fiction

    Except we don't know anything about the story, aside from it not featuring Ripley 8.

    Until we begin to get some concrete details about the story details, it honestly feels very immature for anyone to be prejudging this project. We have nothing to go on except for some concept art which may or may not even make it to the end result.

    This is getting as bad as when people first saw the concept art and had already decided it would therefore be an awesome film.

    Indeed, while I had my doubts about a retcon (not anymore) because it can come across as fan-service, I never resorted to bashing Neill or Alien V, the story is not even there yet, all we got is a bunch of concept art which may or may not ever be used and news that Ripley and Hicks may be back.  Instead of going crazy, people should hold their tongue until some part of the story is revealed, never judge a book by its cover, and assumptions are the mother of all f***ups.  :laugh:

    After seeing CHAPPIE last night, I think he will make a good film based solely on the fact that he was able to create great characters that people will care about before things start getting shot up.

    Unfortunately the reviews of Chappie are not encouraging but public opinion can always be different to critic's, I believe the first predator wasn't given good reviews but was better received after some time passed but most of us probably loved it regardless.
  7. CainsSon
    Sorry Adam but Blomkamp's Alien so far sounds like a whiney butt hurt fanboy's fan fiction

    Except we don't know anything about the story, aside from it not featuring Ripley 8.

    Until we begin to get some concrete details about the story details, it honestly feels very immature for anyone to be prejudging this project. We have nothing to go on except for some concept art which may or may not even make it to the end result.

    This is getting as bad as when people first saw the concept art and had already decided it would therefore be an awesome film.

    Indeed, while I had my doubts about a retcon (not anymore) because it can come across as fan-service, I never resorted to bashing Neill or Alien V, the story is not even there yet, all we got is a bunch of concept art which may or may not ever be used and news that Ripley and Hicks may be back.  Instead of going crazy, people should hold their tongue until some part of the story is revealed, never judge a book by its cover, and assumptions are the mother of all f***ups.  :laugh:

    After seeing CHAPPIE last night, I think he will make a good film based solely on the fact that he was able to create great characters that people will care about before things start getting shot up.
  8. Samus007
    Sorry Adam but Blomkamp's Alien so far sounds like a whiney butt hurt fanboy's fan fiction

    Except we don't know anything about the story, aside from it not featuring Ripley 8.

    Until we begin to get some concrete details about the story details, it honestly feels very immature for anyone to be prejudging this project. We have nothing to go on except for some concept art which may or may not even make it to the end result.

    This is getting as bad as when people first saw the concept art and had already decided it would therefore be an awesome film.


    Indeed, while I had my doubts about a retcon (not anymore) because it can come across as fan-service, I never resorted to bashing Neill or Alien V, the story is not even there yet, all we got is a bunch of concept art which may or may not ever be used and news that Ripley and Hicks may be back.  Instead of going crazy, people should hold their tongue until some part of the story is revealed, never judge a book by its cover, and assumptions are the mother of all f***ups.  :laugh:

    Ain't that the truth. I think we all assumed Prometheus would be the best Sci Fi movie since Alien and Blade Runner, and look how that turned out.  :-\  One never knows if something is going to be good or bad till it literally releases in theaters, I was one who thought that Heath Ledger would be a terrible Joker, boy was I ever completely wrong.
  9. The Cruentus
    Sorry Adam but Blomkamp's Alien so far sounds like a whiney butt hurt fanboy's fan fiction

    Except we don't know anything about the story, aside from it not featuring Ripley 8.

    Until we begin to get some concrete details about the story details, it honestly feels very immature for anyone to be prejudging this project. We have nothing to go on except for some concept art which may or may not even make it to the end result.

    This is getting as bad as when people first saw the concept art and had already decided it would therefore be an awesome film.

    Indeed, while I had my doubts about a retcon (not anymore) because it can come across as fan-service, I never resorted to bashing Neill or Alien V, the story is not even there yet, all we got is a bunch of concept art which may or may not ever be used and news that Ripley and Hicks may be back.  Instead of going crazy, people should hold their tongue until some part of the story is revealed, never judge a book by its cover, and assumptions are the mother of all f***ups.  :laugh:
  10. Xenomorphine
    Sorry Adam but Blomkamp's Alien so far sounds like a whiney butt hurt fanboy's fan fiction

    Except we don't know anything about the story, aside from it not featuring Ripley 8.

    Until we begin to get some concrete details about the story details, it honestly feels very immature for anyone to be prejudging this project. We have nothing to go on except for some concept art which may or may not even make it to the end result.

    This is getting as bad as when people first saw the concept art and had already decided it would therefore be an awesome film.
  11. NetworkATTH
    The future of Alien is, Wow space travel that sure is cool. Except its Late Capitalism in Space. It sucks. Everyone's poor. And your grandpa is telling you "Back in my day, we had these things called holograms, can you believe that, ERH! Now you kids have your CRT monitors and your 8-bit games. I don't understand today's generation."
  12. The Cruentus
    Quote
    Blomkamp on Alien:Isolation: I think it’s amazing. Even from the first screen grabs, just the quality of the art direction and how it looks. I’m such a visual person that the narrative of stuff is neither here nor there for me sometimes. It’s literally about imagery. And when I saw the images I thought ‘Sh*t, they can’t be that good.’  And then I played it and to me it was that good. It’s so good. It’s ridiculous. It’s actually interesting because it raises an interesting design question for me which is that when Alien was made it was cutting edge. ‘Mother’ was cutting edge, and a green CRT monochromatic monitor was cutting edge, you know what I mean? And it’s like Aliens: The Director’s Cut, with Reel 2 re-inserted, when you’re on the colony planet and he’s getting print-outs on dot-matrix paper with holes down the side – that sh*t was real man. On the planet, in that future, that was cutting edge. So it’s an interesting debate if you look at it from my stand-point, which is do I make my cutting edge… is it cutting edge, or is it actually closer to the first two. Because I wanted to be like it has the same parent. It’s a genetic offspring of the first two movies, and Alien Isolation made me question that quite a lot. Because they got it so perfect with all of the late 1970s early ‘80s tech, it’s really cool.

    I really hope he goes the lo-fi route with his Alien film. I wanna see monochrome fishbowl CRT screens and dot-matrix printouts all over the place.  :laugh:

    I didn't mind what they did with Isolation, I put it down to simply that in the future, they reuse old tech for spacecrafts and colonies because most of the budget would go to the safety and structures etc because even in the future where space travel is normal, I doubt we would ever forget how dangerous it is and how nearly impossible it was to explore space. Obvious the Weyland company is way ahead so would have all the advanced tech seen in Prometheus and because according to isolation, they actually hoarded it and refused to allow it to be used by the public cue the rise of seesgon, who allowed everyone to start space travelling and colonization of worlds though their tech was partially stolen from Weyland-Yutani.

    I go by that reasoning because as much as I liked Isolation and its retro-designs, I don't want the Alien series to be set in a weird retro-future like world of tomorrow or bio-shock.
  13. Samus007
    Jarac, I do agree that Resurrection was a product of that, but at this point if they MUST have Ripley in Alien 5 (we which I think she shouldn't be), just finish Ripley 8's story instead of resorting to Fan Fiction nonsense of retcons, Ellen, Newt etc died people need to let that go...the one thing we definitely agree on is that they need New Original Characters. Blomkamp should just create new characters for this film, it'd perfect.

    No.  A:R sucked, and Ripley 8 sucked.  Nothing worth working with there.  At all.  Thank god Alien V is ignoring them.  Making a sequel to A:R would be WAY more fan fiction-ish than ANY "retcon/alt timeline".  This new movie sounds geat so far, and is the alien film Ive always wanted.

    I agree with you. I'm not a fan of Alien 3 all that much myself, I've always said it's a decent movie but a terrible sequel. And Resurrection is beyond awful, so I am very excited about what NB has in mind for bringing Hicks, Newt, Ripley, and probably Bishop back. Bring on this new "Alien 3" i say.
  14. OpenMaw
    Ive spent 24 years listening to people complain about ALIEN 3 and I have literarlly NEVER heard one person try and say that it doesn't seem like the same universe, not from a design or thematic sense. In fact this is one of the more universal strengths people ascribe to it, even the haters.

    Kinda sorta. I think Aliens does a better job of connecting with Alien in it's opening sequences than Alien 3 does to Aliens, but yeah, i've never once looked at Alien 3 and gone "This doesn't feel like the same universe."

  15. CainsSon
    I still don't understand why he wants to make an Alien movie sequel when he clearly isn't interested in making one rather than a fan fiction story. Like I said before, he has cool ideas and all when it comes to concerts and design, but the rest...
    Hey, wait a minute, we've see some concept art and character resurrection talk but I have yet to hear any good ideas.

    Yeah, all Ive heard about is the ideas I've liked in the past getting thrown out because he doesn't like them. Also what is this BS conceit that Alien 3 doesn't feel like the same world as ALIEN and ALIENS?

    Ive spent 24 years listening to people complain about ALIEN 3 and I have literarlly NEVER heard one person try and say that it doesn't seem like the same universe, not from a design or thematic sense. In fact this is one of the more universal strengths people ascribe to it, even the haters.
  16. Weylan
    Sorry Adam but Blomkamp's Alien so far sounds like a whiney butt hurt fanboy's fan fiction ...is Ellen superior to Ripley 8? Hell yeah she sure is but she ****ing died in Alien 3 which is a very good film (not as good as Alien and Aliens I definitely agree, but good nonetheless and a fitting end to Ellen) but at this point bringing back Ellen? Pathetic fan-fiction is all that is...as I said before I feel BOTH versions of Ripley should be left out, they should just do ORIGINAL CHARACTERS...so sad Blomkamp isn't very creative to create a new epic, rather than resorting to poor fan tactics.
  17. Adam802
    Jarac, I do agree that Resurrection was a product of that, but at this point if they MUST have Ripley in Alien 5 (we which I think she shouldn't be), just finish Ripley 8's story instead of resorting to Fan Fiction nonsense of retcons, Ellen, Newt etc died people need to let that go...the one thing we definitely agree on is that they need New Original Characters. Blomkamp should just create new characters for this film, it'd perfect.

    No.  A:R sucked, and Ripley 8 sucked.  Nothing worth working with there.  At all.  Thank god Alien V is ignoring them.  Making a sequel to A:R would be WAY more fan fiction-ish than ANY "retcon/alt timeline".  This new movie sounds geat so far, and is the alien film Ive always wanted. 

  18. Xhan
    Definitely the best interview he has given so far. I actually really like his attitude, sounds very Ridley-ish in that he wont take shit from the studio. Just hope he works well with his crew as what made Alien so special was a collaboration of talent, something he didn't have on Prometheus.

    Quote
    I’m such a visual person that the narrative of stuff is neither here nor there for me sometimes. It’s literally about imagery.

    This scares me a little. I really hope that visual eye doesn't compromise Alien 5 like it did for Ridley with Prometheus.

    It did work with Alien though, and Cameron literally barked a rep off of Elstree so, it frankly sounds more promising than anything we've heard out of FOXnFRENZ promo camp in probably a decade, or since before or after Predators.

    It's still marketing, but it more genuine than anything else uttered in quite a while.
  19. Weylan
    Jarac, I do agree that Resurrection was a product of that, but at this point if they MUST have Ripley in Alien 5 (we which I think she shouldn't be), just finish Ripley 8's story instead of resorting to Fan Fiction nonsense of retcons, Ellen, Newt etc died people need to let that go...the one thing we definitely agree on is that they need New Original Characters. Blomkamp should just create new characters for this film, it'd perfect.
  20. CainsSon
    So is everyone going to overlook the fact that there is the insinuation that Prometheus 2 ties into this movie?

    Does anyone think Promethues is BETTER than ALIEN 3?

    God, I hope not. Alien 3 puts Prometheus to shame when it comes to acting and writing.

    Well, when asked about the connections he chokes back and says he wants to keep his cards close to his chest.
    I mean, if there's nothing to hide, there is no deck of cards.
  21. CainsSon
    So is everyone going to overlook the fact that there is the insinuation in this latest interview that Prometheus 2 ties into this movie?

    Does anyone actually think Prometheus is BETTER than ALIEN 3?
  22. Jarac
    I honestly wish this wouldn't be happening...I wish FOX would have not agreed...and maybe a few years later we'd get some to finish Ripley 8's story and put an end to ALL incarnations of Ripley once and for all....Now the Alien films can continue in the long run with NEW ORIGINAL CHARACTERS! Anyone who thinks Ripley is the only way for Alien films to work is just plain crazy...yes did she help establish the series? Hell yeah, was she awesome? No doubt! But it's time for new characters to face the Aliens on the big screen like in several of the good novels, comics, and games. Ellen obviously isn't the only individual who was fought Weyland-Yutani or the Xenomorphs....SO MUCH POTENTIAL! God I hope someone does this one day...

    Except Resurrection was a product of them not being able to let Ripley go. I agree that they need to go with new characters and stories like what the comics had, but those comics got retconned thanks to wanting to make Resurrection and "bring Ripley back." Continuing Ripley 8's story is still continuing to have Ripley in it. Personally, I am fine with A3 and A:R being side-stepped, and this could be the alternate continuity ending of Ripley's story and we could continue on like in the comics.
  23. xeno-kaname
    I'm sorry but this obsession with retro tech is getting a bit much.  Sure, it can be fun if played with in order to keep the vibe of the first films, and I'm not saying that everyone has to be running around in Halo suits, but the future should look and be futuristic.  I'm writing some sci-fi stories write now that take place several centuries in the future and I'm taking great pains to make it clear that humanity is way beyond what we have now, even if it slows down my writing a bit.  If this trend continues, the next generation of filmmakers will have space ships being piloted with Windows 95.  It's just silly.

    I agree to a degree. In my honest opinion, AvP2010 did a decent job of "updating" the technology without bringing it too far from the movies.
    I agree to a certain degree as well. Personally I loved how the tech in Prometheus looked. It did feel like it was the same aesthetic with a more realistic outlook on future technology. I found it easily plausible for the Prometheus ship to be in that state because it was a top of the line scientific exploration ship, probably made even more fancy because Weyland was going to use it. And that the Nostromo and other ships were made as cheaply as safely possible. 
  24. Weylan
    I honestly wish this wouldn't be happening...I wish FOX would have not agreed...and maybe a few years later we'd get some to finish Ripley 8's story and put an end to ALL incarnations of Ripley once and for all....Now the Alien films can continue in the long run with NEW ORIGINAL CHARACTERS! Anyone who thinks Ripley is the only way for Alien films to work is just plain crazy...yes did she help establish the series? Hell yeah, was she awesome? No doubt! But it's time for new characters to face the Aliens on the big screen like in several of the good novels, comics, and games. Ellen obviously isn't the only individual who was fought Weyland-Yutani or the Xenomorphs....SO MUCH POTENTIAL! God I hope someone does this one day...
  25. Chris!(($$))!
    I'm sorry but this obsession with retro tech is getting a bit much.  Sure, it can be fun if played with in order to keep the vibe of the first films, and I'm not saying that everyone has to be running around in Halo suits, but the future should look and be futuristic.  I'm writing some sci-fi stories write now that take place several centuries in the future and I'm taking great pains to make it clear that humanity is way beyond what we have now, even if it slows down my writing a bit.  If this trend continues, the next generation of filmmakers will have space ships being piloted with Windows 95.  It's just silly.

    I agree to a degree. In my honest opinion, AvP2010 did a decent job of "updating" the technology without bringing it too far from the movies.
  26. Born Of Cold Light
    I'm sorry but this obsession with retro tech is getting a bit much.  Sure, it can be fun if played with in order to keep the vibe of the first films, and I'm not saying that everyone has to be running around in Halo suits, but the future should look and be futuristic.  I'm writing some sci-fi stories write now that take place several centuries in the future and I'm taking great pains to make it clear that humanity is way beyond what we have now, even if it slows down my writing a bit.  If this trend continues, the next generation of filmmakers will have space ships being piloted with Windows 95.  It's just silly.
  27. xeno-kaname
    I still don't understand why he wants to make an Alien movie sequel when he clearly isn't interested in making one rather than a fan fiction story. Like I said before, he has cool ideas and all when it comes to concerts and design, but the rest...

    He IS clearly interested in making an Alien story. It's just a story that you are writing off as being fan fiction.

    But hey, not everyone is going to see eye-to-eye, which is fine.
    Yup yup.

    And I'm really liking what Blomkamp is saying in his recent interviews, specially the "Giger Freudian horror terror" he's hoping to achieve. But the narrative comment was the one thing that gave me concern. In bringing back these characters, the narrative and story are crucial for success. Even more so with the toes he's stepping on by bringing them back. He did acknowledge this was his mistake with Elysium as he focused in the concepts and imagery more over the story itself. This is good and I hope it means he's looking for a competitive writer to compliment his current vision and rough draft he has of the story, but it is a bit worrying. I do think that it is fresh in his mind since he did feel self conscious about his shortcomings with Elysium, so that is also good. 
  28. Nazrel
    I just want  strong story with good looking aliens.. Isolation did a decent job with both. The story telling though a bit weak in some areas wasnt too bad if you could find all the tapes and recorders and stuff. But Games and movies are very different story telling devices.

    I just wish we had some sort of idea as to what this would be about
  29. TimmyTurnersDad
    This interview makes me worry.
    It sounds like he's not really bothered what other peole want, and it's more about him just experimenting with the story (which presumably is attempting to erase 'Alien 3' and 'Alien: Resurrection'; meaning he lied previously).

    He didn't lie. He's not undoing A3 or A:R; he's just ignoring them and following the first two films only. They still exist. That previous timeline still exists. He was just being respectful to the fans of those films.

    Quote
    'Producing' doesn't really mean much, as far as I know, in terms of input of content. But I'm not keen on Ridley Scott producing it. After 'Prometheus' I'd like him to not be involved with the 'Alien' franchise any more.

    I can understand this, though I'm feeling far more comfortable about Ridley just producing it than if he had been directing this himself. I'd actually love it if Cameron were also producing or helping with the script too.

    Quote
    "I'm such a visual person, that the narrative of stuff is neither here nor there for me" - ?? No. Don't make an 'Alien' movie if you aren't interested in good narrative. I really hope that was just referencing games.

    On a kind of side note, I wouldn't call 'Alien: Isolation' perfect. I think there was a lot wrong with it. It was great visually and in terms of sound. But otherwise - eh.

    This is worth some amount of concern, but I think his overall attitude so far makes me willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I'm just hoping Blomkamp decides to look for a skilled screenwriter to transform his story treatment into a great script.
  30. RidgeTop
    So long as he doesn't base it solely on 'Alien Isolation'. Some parts of that were too low-tech, like audio cassettes and such. Don't recall seeing stuff like that in the films.

    If what we see looks like it could have fitted right in at Gateway Station, that would be great continuity.

    Totally with you on that. I enjoyed the lo-fi feel but they did go a bit overboard. You couldn't really build a space station like that and still be primarily running 24 minute cassettes and tape decks. 70's aesthetic doesn't have to be actual 70's tech. That, and the horrendous static and flickers on every video in the game. Should have been a little more subtle I think. So yeah, as far as the tech in this upcoming film goes, it should be retro-ish, but still sci-fi.

    Also, it was a bit amusing to see him praising the game during the interview, considering IGN's review.
  31. TheSulaco426
    either way, no matter what, Im gonna buy the special edition blu-ray after the film comes out and watch the 4 hour documentary to see how it was made, sometimes I like watching those more than the actual films, I cant help myself.
  32. CelticPred97
    This interview makes me worry.
    It sounds like he's not really bothered what other peole want, and it's more about him just experimenting with the story (which presumably is attempting to erase 'Alien 3' and 'Alien: Resurrection'; meaning he lied previously).

    'Producing' doesn't really mean much, as far as I know, in terms of input of content. But I'm not keen on Ridley Scott producing it. After 'Prometheus' I'd like him to not be involved with the 'Alien' franchise any more.

    "I'm such a visual person, that the narrative of stuff is neither here nor there for me" - ?? No. Don't make an 'Alien' movie if you aren't interested in good narrative. I really hope that was just referencing games.

    On a kind of side note, I wouldn't call 'Alien: Isolation' perfect. I think there was a lot wrong with it. It was great visually and in terms of sound. But otherwise - eh.
  33. Samus007
    I hope that he shows James Cameron a bit of what he is thinking of doing as well, to get some feedback on that (as I am sure he has done with Ridley Scott since he is producing this film). It can't hurt thats for sure, Cameron might have a few ideas that NB can take into consideration as to where Cameron wanted Hicks, Newt, and Ripley to go.
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