Yeah, you're quite right. Blomkamp said his original story idea was a very different beast and didn't involve Weaver at all. But it was while filming Chappie that Weaver told him she was quite keen to reprise her original Ripley character. That convinced him to re-write his story and effectively turn it into a direct Aliens sequel. At that point the studio didn't even know he was working on an Alien film.
Having Weaver on-board would very likely have increased his chances of getting the film off the ground, so it was probably a smart move. It wasn't just Blomkamp pitching an Alien movie to Fox now, it was Blomkamp and Sigourney Weaver.
This is what I don't understand about the pre-emptive critics of this project. They keep blaming Blomkamp for the scant few details we even have about the story (Ripley being included and 'Alien 3
' somehow being negated), when he was never responsible for that angle. If one wants to land the blame (or praise) for that stuff, then aim at Weaver.
And she's been the one person continuously associated with the series, who has consistently praised the third and fourth films, to this very day.
Put yourself in his position. You casually chat with one of your screen icons about a story you've been working on - one which we know would have continued after the third film. She responds positively and the ball actually seems to get rolling on something you're creatively passionate about. She's willing to not only feature, but use her contacts and reputation to help get it started.
You're going to refuse that kind of personal involvement? With one of the best actresses still in show business?
You're either an idiot or have no idea how difficult it could be in the Hollywood system, if you honestly think you would say no.
We have very
little in the way of story details to go on. Certainly not enough to decry whatever writing was done as supposed fan-fiction (any more than we have enough to cheerlead it). All I know is that NB has repeatedly voiced, in interviews, an understanding of what works
about the original two films and why those elements are so timeless. He knows it needs to return to themes like psychosexuality, biomechanics, genuine horror, etcetera.
None of use know of the end result would have been any good, but I can't argue against him on those ingredients being necessary to properly revitalise this series of films.
Is there a worry about certain things he might have tried introducing? Sure. That goes with any artistic talent getting a chance at adding something to this - including Scott. But blame Weaver for the Ripley/Hicks/Newt/retcon stuff. If it's meant to take place not long after 'Aliens
' and a military element happens to be involved, one would expect Colonial Marine-related visuals to have been included in concept art. Indeed, 'Alien 3
' uncluded a Sulaco-like ship, pulse rifles, Weyland-Yutani and that struck a very different tone to 'Aliens
We simply do not know enough about what was in the works to make any kind of judgement calls over it.