While director Neill Blomkamp was able to convince both actress Sigourney Weaver and Aliens director James Cameron (called the film’s outline/idea “gangbusters”) about his pitch for Alien 5, but it sounds like Ridley Scott was ultimately the harder sell and may have ultimately led to the project’s death.
During a recent interview with The Playlist, Blomkamp suggested that Ridley Scott was possibly behind his exit from the sci-fi sequel.
“At the end of the day even though Ridley Scott is producing it, he brought that to the world, so if he changes his mind or if there is a director on it he doesn’t want, whatever it may be, it’s his. I understand that, it makes logical sense to me.”
Blomkamp further alluded to The Guardian that Alien 5 producer Ridley Scott (current gatekeeper of the Alien franchise) potentially watched Chappie and that may have behind Scott changing his mind about letting Blomkamp direct Alien 5 (a project Ridley Scott tried to make 20 years ago).
“It’s possible that Ridley watched Chappie and he was like, this guy can’t do Alien so let’s just go ahead and move on.”
When asked if he’d return to the franchise anytime in the future he declined that as a possibility and quickly debunked online rumblings that Alien 5 was back on track with his involvement.
“Not after, no no no, there’s no coming back from that. I’m not gonna work on a film for two years and have the rug pulled out from underneath me and then go hang out and have beers. It’s exactly why I don’t want to do IP based on other people’s stuff ever again.”
“I’m sure they will make many films with that piece of IP, it just doesn’t include me.”
It’s worth noting that as soon as Alien 5 got nixed by Scott/20th Century Fox, they quickly moved forward with Scott’s Alien: Covenant. There is a good chance that Scott saw Alien 5 as a competing film to Covenant and decided to curb-stomp it (considering his high status at the studio). There were some similarities between the two films with multiple androids as revealed in concept artwork (one good and one bad), and we wouldn’t be terribly shocked if Covenant lifted other elements from Alien 5.
Chappie was both a critical and box office disaster for Blomkamp. The sci-fi movie had multiple oddball choices including giving large roles to non-actors Die Antwoord (rapper pals of Blomkamp), who played awful characters that were on par with Hugh Jackman’s villain but were supposed to be “likable.” It certainly had less to say than the social commentary infused into the story as Blomkamp’s prior two movies District 9 and Elysium, feeling like more of “this would be cool if we did this” exercise.
With District 10 in development and other Elysium films on table, I don’t think we can say that the director has any interest in Chappie follow-ups anytime soon.
CHAPPIE – In the near future, a mechanized police force patrols the streets and deals with lawbreakers — but now, the people are fighting back. When one police droid is stolen and given new programming, he acquires the ability to feel and think for himself. While the robot, dubbed “Chappie (Sharlto Copley),” puzzles out human behavior, the authorities begin to see him as a danger to mankind and order; they will stop at nothing to ensure that Chappie is the last of his kind.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN & THE PLAYLIST