20th Century Fox has two Alien films in the pipe: one highly anticipated one by Neil Blomkamp that’ll feature the return of Ripley, and a Prometheus sequel by Ridley Scott. Ridley apparently carries greater weight at Fox and Neil won’t be able to make his movie until Scott finishes his. So far, this hasn’t sounded like good news.
Since the announcement, Scott has clarified the sequel’s plot, which he says will reveal the origin of the Alien species. “This was a call to duty, really, to reexamine and resurrect the Alien, if I could,” Scott said to Variety in a recent interview. “Its role had been worn out in previous films, but one of the questions that had never been answered was why such a creature would be invented and by whom. That opens much larger, more universal questions.”
In my opinion this is massively misguided. If the Alien is “worn out,” answering mysterious questions about it isn’t going to make it fresh again. The reason movie monsters grow less scary over time is because, as the sequels pile on, the audience gets more and more familiar with the monster and its bag of tricks. A large part of what makes horror work is the unknown. If you know what something is and know how to deal with it, it’s not really scary anymore.
Ridley has said in the past that he has always felt the Xeno was created by an advanced alien species for use as a biological weapon. It’s a good bet this is what Alien: Paradise Lost is going to reveal. The movie is scheduled to be released on May 30, 2017.