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Neill Blomkamp’s ‘Alien 5’ had Elysium Production Designer Lined up for Pre-Production

It seems as though ‘Alien 5’ was quite close to entering pre-production back in the fall of 2015 before ultimately being shelved for the studio to focus on Alien Covenant.

Coming to us from entertainment news website Omega Underground, production designer Philip Ivey, who had previously collaborated with Neill Blomkamp on both District 9 and Elysium was attached to begin work on Alien 5. Whatever criticisms there are of Elysium, the production design is typically not high on the list of them.

 Neill Blomkamp's 'Alien 5' had Elysium Production Designer Lined up for Pre-Production

Matt Damon (The Martian) and Alice Braga (Predators) star in Elysium (2013).

Amazingly, Omega Underground is also claiming that Alien 5 was additionally planning to begin shooting that very same fall:

“In May 2015, we caught wind that Alien 5 was eyeing Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada for production shoot that fall. Our own new information reaffirms this and adds that Johannesburg, South Africa was also being looked at. The latter was likely chosen to keep production costs down on the project as District 9 and Chappie were shot there.

Blomkamp has since made British Columbia his home base for his production company Oats Studios, where it has been grinding out some excellent short films over the last little while. Shane Black’s The Predator would eventually shoot in Vancouver as well.”

They go into speculation that Ridley Scott likely had a direct hand in compromising the film to maintain control of the franchise, which seems possible given that Scott had denied the project was anything more than a 10 page idea, and yet all evidence including statements from Sigourney Weaver and James Cameron point to the contrary. This appears to be corroborated from an interview with Neil Blomkamp last year, in which he said:

“We put together essentially a script and all the artwork and that’s what I went to 20th Century Fox with. They seemed really into it and Ridley came on as producer and then it just unraveled.”

Omega Underground is not specific about how they obtained this information, but it’s unsurprising that Neill would have brought on Philip Ivey for production design after having worked with him on multiple sci-fi films.

 Neill Blomkamp's 'Alien 5' had Elysium Production Designer Lined up for Pre-Production

Director Neill Blomkamp and Production Designer Philip Ivey on the set of Elysium (2003).

While Scott is determined to continue his Alien prequels, saying “they’re crazy if they don’t.” It’s looking increasingly clear that Fox is uncertain of how to proceed with the franchise, and will likely remain so until the acquisition of their properties by Disney is finalized.

Neill Blomkamp recently posted some additional concept art from the project, and while that may be nothing more than his lamenting of how things turned out, some have expressed that the timing with the Disney acquisition hardly seems coincidental.

Personally, I feel that given his collaboration with franchise heavyweights such as Syd Mead and StudioADI, and continuing to generate enthusiasm from fans this long after cancellation, Neill Blomkamp remains a logical choice to direct a series installment, regardless if the story is what was originally planned or something entirely new.

Thanks to Omega Underground and Whos Nick for the news.

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Comments: 39
  1. Gash
    AC and Prometheus aren't that different they both suffer from the same issues.its like some of you don't see or understand that. They both are terrible movies putting xenos in a bad movie still equals a bad movie. Maybe Disney should take over because the star war movies are actually pretty well written.

    I personally prefer the writing of Prometheus and Alien:Covenant. Disney's approach to Star Wars has been perfectly watchable but pretty predictable and the callbacks and references are a little too obvious - far moreso than the last ten minutes of Covenant.
  2. darkvegett0
    AC and Prometheus aren't that different they both suffer from the same issues.its like some of you don't see or understand that. They both are terrible movies putting xenos in a bad movie still equals a bad movie. Maybe Disney should take over because the star war movies are actually pretty well written.
  3. Huggs
    Haha! ;D

    No biggie Biomechanoid.

    And Alionic, C'mon man. I was just talking about a higher level of quality. If quality now equals "nostalgia", then yes, let's get "nostalgic". And furthermore, I happen to pride myself on being a technologically ignorant doom and gloomer dude kind of dude. Although I like to think of it as more of a manly kind of realistic yet rugged retro dudeliness.  8)
  4. Biomechanoid
    Bio,

    I'll have you know Herbert and Frederick are extremely interesting personalities, and I'll thank you to leave them out of it. As for this quote button, I'm not seein' anything here. Signal's clean.

    I was just funin', you made it clear what you were quoting and what was your own comment, though who you quote I don't bother to flip through previous pages to see who you are quoting.

    I just assume by default you're always quoting Alionic since the odds are good it's his motor mouth that you're quoting. . . . ;)
  5. Huggs
    Bio,

    I'll have you know Herbert and Frederick are extremely interesting personalities, and I'll thank you to leave them out of it. As for this quote button, I'm not seein' anything here. Signal's clean.
  6. Alionic
    "Ahh! Well now I feel foolish for not catching that. I wondered why he was always having conversations with himself."

    I'm always happy to help the technologically ignorant.  ;D
  7. Perfect-Organism
    Whatever happened to just wanting a good entry no matter who it came from and where in the timeline it fits.

    I agree that a good entry regardless of where it came from or where it fits in the timeline is a desirable thing.  However there are certain actors who have been st the core of the best moments of the series whose days in the industry are regrettably becoming few with the merciless march of time.  If ever there is to be another film with these talented actors, the time for that is now.  There is plenty of time for other films, won't you agree?
  8. Huggs
    "I still think that Scott can make an amazing Alien movie, he just needs a good writer who.....has a backbone strong enough to tell Scott when one of his ideas isn't that great or unique"

    In other words, someone who's not afraid to get fired and blackballed?  ;D In all seriousness, no disrespect to Mr. Scott, but he doesn't strike me as the kind of director who will take criticism very well at this stage of his career. Perhaps he thinks that he has made enough successful films and money to know perfectly well what is the best way to proceed all on his own. I don't see Ridley compromising his vision in the future.


    "Whatever happened to just wanting a good entry no matter who it came from and where in the timeline it fits."

    I can't say with any degree of certainty, but it most likely went the way of Xbox VS PlayStation, Ford vs Chevy, ect. ect. The prequels have created a new level of division. Those that like them, feel we're on the right track. Those that dislike them, feel we've lost years of potentially good Alien films, and the future remains bleak. Regardless of where one lands in that debate, it seems unrealistic to expect we'll ever see a film like the first two again, where they were significantly different in tone and style from each other, yet still managed to deliver a positive experience for a large portion of the fans. Whatever happens from here, it's just out of our hands.

    I do hope I get to see an actual Alien film of the older quality at some point in my lifetime though, but I'm not getting my hopes up anymore. And I do think it would be good form to let somebody else make the kind of Alien film for the fans who don't like the prequels. There should be alittle something for everyone at the table.
  9. Perfect-Organism
    If Sigoutney Weaver reprises her role as Ripley, post Aliens, it's going to be gangbusters!  This is the way to go!  Sure money.  Keep in mind Ripley will be riding high on the supposed success of Avatar 2..
  10. MovieFan
    Neill Blomkamp just reconfirmed AGAIN the film is dead.
    So leave it at that. 

    There's only two paths for the next Alien project:

    A. Scott gets to make DAVID and close off his storyline (which is superior to whatever shoot-em-up-retcon-things-and-cast-Sharlto-Copley-as-Weyland-Jr nonsense he was gonna do)

    B. Disney turns the Alien franchise into an Anthology series for their streaming service in 2019. 

    That's it.
  11. JokersWarPig
    I still think it's a shame Blomkamp didn't get chosen over Ridley, especially considering the crap that was Covenant.
    Maybe we'll get something similar to what Blomkamp had wanted to do some day now that Ridley (doesn't seem to be) involved anymore since the franchise has changed hands.
  12. JungleHunter87
    It seems there is some (not much beyond hearsay) merit to the argument that Scott politiced Alien 5 into permanent cryosleep. It’s a shame really, because now the whole series is at risk of being shelved for a period of time. Due to Covenant not being a resounding success. I hope Blomkamp’s ALIEN 5 can find traction again. No matter the incarnation, with old or new characters.

    I know of more than a few people I spoke to, who in the lead up too Covenant, were absolutely sure. That because A L I E N was in the title, it was a pure A L I E N/ALIENS sequel. Not Prometheus meets A L I E N, which they didn’t seem too enjoy the idea of.
  13. Corporal Hicks
    Money would have likely been an issue too. I couldn't see Fox wanting to bankroll two at the same time, especially with no guarantees on returns and considering Covenant's lukewarm reception it might have been a good decision financially.
  14. bb-15
    I still believe cancelling the Blomkamp film was the right choice.

    There’s only one franchise that i know of that is releasing films unrelated to an already in motion trilogy....and that’s Star Wars (rogue one released during episode 7,8,9 process)

    Covenant was already starting to film when the Blomkamp movie was starting. The entire idea of having multiple movies releasing under the same license is crazy town anyways. The studio probably weighed both directors...and went with Ridley Scott, because it’s Ridley Scott!!!! I don’t blame them, and it’s the obvious choice.

    Maybe if Elysium and Chappie were blockbusters they would have said sure why not....but they weren’t. Blomkamp just got done making two high cost duds, and I’m sure Fox said the same thing...

    Either way Fox still made the right call, but it didn’t pan out. However, i don’t think Disney is gonna be so willing to jump into bed with Blomkamp either....maybe they will though since there’s so much hype for his concept art alone. Should be fun to watch!

    All of these points imo were factors in Fox making their decision.
    * Money;
    - Scott made "The Martian" which was a blockbuster and "Prometheus" made 3 times its production budget.
    - "Elysium" and "Chappie" were weak performers at the box office.

    * Scott wanted to extend the franchise (in a controversial way but still an extension) which opens things up for more Alien movies.
    And as mentioned by others, Fox pressured Ridley to focus on the Xenomorph in "Covenant".
    - Blomkamp wanted to retcon Alien which would;
    1. Eliminate two movies from canon.
    2. Put the focus of the franchise back on Weaver.
    - Some at the studio remember how Sigourney Weaver took over script control after "Aliens" and how the franchise became the Weaver show.

    * What will Disney do with a horror franchise? We'll see.

    ;)
  15. AD
    It seems like Chappie and The Martian having reactions (both critically and financially) on the opposite ends of the spectrum gave Fox faith in Prometheus again, but they still wanted the Xenomorphs back.

    So they likely gave Ridley an ultimatum: make the Xenomorphs prominent in the film and they'll go forward with it first, or don't and they'll go with Blomkamp's film despite Chappie not doing too well at the box office, and do Prometheus 2 later. This is just my speculation though.

    As for Alien 5 coming back, who knows. I think OATS is gaining a lot of traction, and Blomkamp has already done three or four drafts on his adaptation of The Gone World, and he and the studio are likely waiting for the book now to come out in February before going into active pre-production. So I think that's gonna take up his time, but who knows. Maybe Alien 5 is getting life again.
  16. The Eighth Passenger
    “In May 2015, we caught wind that Alien 5 was eyeing Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada for production shoot that fall. Our own new information reaffirms this and adds that Johannesburg, South Africa was also being looked at.

    Found this old tweet from someone who claimed to know someone...

    https://twitter.com/lemon_buzz/status/603576960766365696

    https://twitter.com/lemon_buzz/status/606823920222760960

    But not much else to support the 2015 Vancouver Fall shoot rumour. Most other tweets regarding that rumour originates from the Omega Underground guy.


    Covenant was already starting to film when the Blomkamp movie was starting.

    Nope.

    The entire idea of having multiple movies releasing under the same license is crazy town anyways.

    You mean like all those new Star Wars films?

    This doesn’t mean I liked Covenant mind you. In honesty i really didn’t like it. In fact I’m confused how Scott could direct such a mess of a movie when he’s also making great stuff like The Martian or All the Money in the World.

    Because Scott didn't develop the story/scripts for The Martian and All the Money in the World.
  17. prometheusfire29
    after the Return they got from listening to all the online Aliens loving fanboys ( which probably represent less than 25% of the fanbase and less than 2% of the general movie going public )
    I seriously doubt they will EVER listen to you guys ...... ever ever again .

    which I personally think is the best thing for the franchise .
  18. Nazrel
    Im not a fan of blomkamp. And haye the idea of his alien 5. Too much of the alien universe is connected to ripley.  While i love the charecter and weaver. Im sick and tired of her being shoehorned into things for the sake of hsving ripley attached to the product

    And on top of that it would probably be a pass the torch on style movie like force awakens or last jedi. Youd see them teaching some new kids what to do so they could take over the franchise.  Id rrally rather see new charecters unrelated to the original films thought of.

    And while i enjoyed covenant and prom im not a fan of the aliens being engineered. I really dont want to see some stupid oh it was just a dream thing. Or completely forgotten and ignorer thing
  19. Scorpio
    I'm all for Blomkamp's Alien 5, even though I'm not a fan of the retcon idea I'll wait until I see the finished product.  It's just that I don't get people who want the prequels cancelled so it can get made.  Would ruin the series if that happened.  You would have all these unresolved plot threads. 
  20. Richman678
    I still believe cancelling the Blomkamp film was the right choice.

    There’s only one franchise that i know of that is releasing films unrelated to an already in motion trilogy....and that’s Star Wars (rogue one released during episode 7,8,9 process)

    Covenant was already starting to film when the Blomkamp movie was starting. The entire idea of having multiple movies releasing under the same license is crazy town anyways. The studio probably weighed both directors...and went with Ridley Scott, because it’s Ridley Scott!!!! I don’t blame them, and it’s the obvious choice.

    Maybe if Elysium and Chappie were blockbusters they would have said sure why not....but they weren’t. Blomkamp just got done making two high cost duds, and I’m sure Fox said the same thing.

    This doesn’t mean I liked Covenant mind you. In honesty i really didn’t like it. In fact I’m confused how Scott could direct such a mess of a movie when he’s also making great stuff like The Martian or All the Money in the World. I did like Prometheus though, and i wanted to watch that story unfold, but now i don’t. They went and pulled an “Alien 3” On is by killing off our main protagonist.

    Either way Fox still made the right call, but it didn’t pan out. However, i don’t think Disney is gonna be so willing to jump into bed with Blomkamp either....maybe they will though since there’s so much hype for his concept art alone. Should be fun to watch!
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