I have, on occasion, been accused of being a little too negative. Fair enough, I'm always open to criticism. Perhaps it's a little too easy to constantly go off on a rant tearing down this sequel or that remake, demanding that some movie or another not be made, as I did recently with the Saw franchise. So today, I'm going to take the high road. I'm going to come out in favor of a new sequel--or more accurately, a new prequel. But I have one very crucial condition.
I'm all for an Alien prequel. But only--I repeat, only--if Ridley Scott is the director.
I continue to be amazed every time I see it what an extremely well-crafted and terrifying film the original Alien is. It's one I never get tired of. I guess it's a "comfort movie" for me, you might say. And although I will never go as far as many others will and say that James Cameron's sequel Aliens is even better, it is also a hell of a movie. But since then, I've watched my beloved Alien franchise go through a slow and painful death.
First there was David Fincher's Alien-cubed, which I actually enjoyed, but which was flawed in a great many ways. Killing off Hicks and the little girl before the movie even starts was probably the single most egregious. From there, I'd rather not even talk about it. Aliens ripping out Nick Tortelli's brains in some farcical horror space comedy; two half-baked and ill-conceived Predator crossovers...it's enough to make me pull an Ash and start spouting 2-percent out of my bodily orifices.
So I'm all for returning the Alien franchise to its former glory. But it has to be done right. And the only man who can pull that off, as far as I'm concerned, is the man who realized Dan O'Bannon's incredible vision in the first place back in 1979. Some may suggest Cameron, but to me, the guy has lost his mind ever since becoming "King of the World". He can go direct another 3-D movie about fish, as far as I'm concerned. I want me some Ridley.
I'm not sure what this prequel would entail exactly, but Ridley Scott has proven enough to be so completely in touch with the material that I'm sure he'd do a bang-up job. Checking out the special features on the recent Alien special edition DVD was more than enough to further convince me of that. The man speaks with great passion for the material, and remarkable insight--while admitting to not even having been much of a fan of sci-fi or horror. Normally that's strike one in my book, but in his case I find it gives him even more credibility. He approached the project with a clean slate, and created something remarkably fresh and powerful in the process.
The good news is, according to Entertainment Weekly, that 20th Century Fox, which owns the rights to the franchise, is saying it will only greenlight a prequel if Ridley directs. Now, Scott was already signed on as a producer, but had hand-picked some German commercial director by the name of Carl Erik Rinsch to helm the picture. Boo. Luckily, here is one instance in which studio meddling may actually be serving a greater good.
No word yet on whether Ridley will buckle under the pressure and consent to once again direct the actions of stuntmen in H.R. Giger-designed bodysuits, but this blogger can hope with fingers and toes crossed. It's not like the guy's not active in the director's chair anymore, and it's not like he still doesn't pack a mighty punch, as the likes of Body of Lies and American Gangster have recently shown.
So make it happen, Mr. Scott. Show us you can save Alien from mediocrity and finish (?) the series out with a real bang. And help me wash those images of Nick Tortelli in space out of my brain...
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