Speaking to IGN, Chappie director Neill Blomkamp gave his lengthiest interview about his upcoming Alien sequel yet! Diving right in, the director goes over what got him into the Alien franchise in the first place, his appreciation for the first two films, his plans to keep Alien 5 grounded to what Ridley Scott and James Cameron created with Alien and Aliens and goes on to discuss how he plans to tackle this new project. Unlike his previous works, this will be the first time Neill directs a film based on someone else's property and ideas. Blomkamp mentions one of his main concerns was that he didn't want anyone telling him how to make this new Alien movie - he wanted complete control and creative freedom - and it seems like Fox were eager to honor that request. Read on for excerpts from the interview!
IGN: Are you scared or excited to be making an Alien movie?
Neill Blomkamp: Excited. For whatever phase I’m in in my career now, I think two things are in play. One, I’m relatively young, and two, on a personality level, I’m not susceptible as much to the whole fear of following up something. Even if it’s your own work, you know? Elysium not living up to what District 9 was… it doesn’t affect me in the same way it affects a lot of other artists. I’m willing to take big swings all the time until people won’t give me money. It doesn’t affect me like that. So my thing with Alien is that I don’t sit up at night being ‘Oh god, I wonder how I’m going to be able to follow in these great films’ footsteps.’ It’s more like I’m a fan of Alien, I’m a fan of Aliens, and Alien 3 onwards went in a direction I didn’t want. I just get the chance to tell my version of how I think it should have happened. It’s just pure excitement.
IGN: Around the time of Elysium I asked you if you’d like to direct a Star Wars movie and you said you weren’t interested because you had too many ideas of your own that you want to make.
Blomkamp: Still true.
IGN: So why make an Alien movie, which is part of another established franchise?
Blomkamp: I pursued them to the point that Fox didn’t even know that I was working on them. That in itself is just unique. You should always be working on something that the studio doesn’t even know you’re doing. And that way you’re like ‘I wanna do that.’ By the time it’s done. And they can decide. I think when you get hired to do something, you’re in dangerous territory. The truth about projects that are my own… the thing that’s annoying about films is that they take three years to make. It’s a constant thing that I face all the time, which is that whatever you commit to, you’re going to be out of the game with everything else, and you’re going to be doing this one thing for that amount of time. That’s a very true thing, so that would still be my answer to almost everything, it’s just that Alien isn’t almost everything. Alien is the one thing that’s just… I actually think it’s the first science-fiction film I ever saw. And it’s my first memory of film. So it’s just emblazoned into my head in a way that… it would be a shame for me to not do it for myself. Even if it doesn’t live up to want people want, for my own self I need to at least try.
IGN: What drew you to that world?
Blomkamp: I think that the combination of what Ridley [Scott] did and the usage of Giger’s Freudian sexual terror imagery and the set-up of the first film and then what [James] Cameron did with the second film – just the perfect storm of what those ingredients were, and for my own visual style and what I like, it was just this weird, perfect unity of everything, you know? I think that’s really what it is. I can’t think of anything that comes close to it in terms of an existing franchise. And my other favourite character – though I don’t want to participate in this world – is Batman. I think the Chris Nolan Batman films are incredible. For me – for my own aesthetic and taste, I think they’re amazing. That’s a separate thing, that’s kind of character-driven. Alien is a unique thing for me – it’s a unique storm of perfect ingredients.
IGN: How will this fit in with the Prometheus sequel that’s going to get made? Will they happen side-by-side?
Blomkamp: I don’t think they’ll be running exactly side-by-side, but I don’t want to get into it too much – I will try to keep some of my cards close to my chest. But Ridley is producing it which is amazing too, he’s one of my favourite filmmakers, so I’m stoked.
IGN: So which one - Alien or Aliens?
Blomkamp: It was Aliens. Aliens was my favourite film – it’s not even a choice between the two. Aliens was my favourite film ever made. But I just saw Alien – which was a close second. I just saw Alien in a theatrical projection in Vancouver, which I’d never seen before. It’s only ever been… I was born the year it came out in theatres. And seeing it in a theatre, it may have jumped ahead because it’s just that good, but it’s a really tough one.
There's more to the interview, and we encourage you to head onover to IGN to watch the whole thing! Let us know what you thought of this new interview by commenting below!