Alien: Rebooted

News that I had been dreading for quite some time (ever since Aliens vs Predator: Requiem tanked) finally broke a couple of weeks ago – 20th Century Fox are drawing up plans to remake/reboot Alien. Only chit-chat so far, but there seems little doubt that a new project is in the works, and is unlikely to be a direct continuation of the original series.

It seemed inevitable somehow, given the current fad for rebooting/remaking anything that ever made a reasonable amount of money in the past. The recent box-office success of Star Trek has only intensified studio efforts to look at which proven money-maker could be dusted off next. But that does nothing to quell the anger and despair at seeing something you love being butchered, broken up and sold off to make a fast buck. News that should be some form of consolation, namely that Ridley Scott would be co-producing this new take with his brother Tony, does little to asuage my fears.

My problem is that any sort of prequel or reimagining would destroy the elemental mystery of the original. Of course it would be interesting to know the origins of the Alien, and also that of the doomed Space Jockey. But do we really want to know? Would it not cancel out the original film’s unique atmosphere of ancient and otherwordly terror? Is it not better the leave the creature’s true origins obscured, impossible to determine, thereby enhancing its unnatural horror?

I trust Sir Ridley enough to assume that he has thought this through already and found a story angle that won’t ruin his first masterpiece. But I can’t help but fear that I will follow each new announcement of the project with a sinking feeling inside – especially if the director turns out to be a “hot new talent” from the world of music videos or visual effects. Spare us that at least.

The new Predator project (possibly to be directed by Neil Marshall it seems) appears to be a sequel of sorts to the originals. Let’s hope the new Alien will similarly respect the qualities and intentions that marked out its original so vividly.

Comments

Alien: Rebooted — 2 Comments

  1. Perhaps it was all your recent posts on the Alien films that set all this in motion? Someone somewhere high-up reading your blog?I’ve written at somewhat tedious length here – http://filmjournal.net/ghostof82/2009/05/31/reboots-prequels-andalien/#comments- about my feelings on this. Just felt compelled to ask again … why would anyone trust Sir Ridley to do anything worthwhile on this project? I still don’t understand why people rate him these days; he’s a bit of a hack, and most of all he’s an industry man. This is a way to get his daughter’s boyfriend [Carl Rinsch, who works for him at RSA and specialises in FX-heavy commercials] a gig.I totally agree about destroying the mystery surrounding the Alien’s origin… but I don’t know if that would be necessary. What about whoever found the ship originally? Remember, Ash and The Company already knew it was there…

  2. Fair points. I guess I am just instinctively willing to cut the guy some slack seeing as how he directed the original, and should therefore know what he’s doing. Agreed, his recent output hasn’t been up to the same standard, but that’s no reason to assume he won’t direct a great film again.Good call on the plot point – but as we know what the outcome must be, is it worth portraying?