ByKatie Granger, writer at Creators.co
MP Staff Writer, come to bargain.
Katie Granger

Neill Blomkamp's has been a long cold winter in development, banding for space alongside Ridley Scott's Prometheus sequel, Alien: Covenant. But while Covenant has begun filming and is set for a May 2017 release, news on Alien 5 has been thin on the ground as it's spun its wheels in development.

But, worry not, it is supposedly still happening, the matter is just when. Scott is producing Alien 5, and work on the fifth -proper movie is set to begin once has wrapped post-production. There's been a curious history between Alien 5 and Covenant, with the latter first known as Prometheus 2, then as Alien: Paradise Lost, then finally Covenant, the name changes seeming to reflect changes of tone and direction for the movie.

The first image released from the 'Alien: Covenant' set [Credit: 20th Century Fox]
The first image released from the 'Alien: Covenant' set [Credit: 20th Century Fox]

As for Alien 5, the particulars have been subject to much curiosity, ever since Blomkamp released the first look at the concept art he had drawn up for the project, back before it was even confirmed to be going ahead.

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But we've known for a long time that Sigourney Weaver would return as original badass Ellen Ripley in Alien 5. Where and when the movie will pick up with her character is still unclear, as there have been conflicting reports regarding whether or not Alien 5 will pick up where James Cameron's Aliens left off, rather than acting as a follow on from Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s incredibly weird Alien: Resurrection.

 'Alien: Resurrection' [Credit: 20th Century Fox]
'Alien: Resurrection' [Credit: 20th Century Fox]

And while some are skeptical about whether or not Alien 5 will ever actually happen — what with the Prometheus sequel changing tack to become an Alien prequel — today news arrives from Weaver herself. In a new interview with Variety, she was asked about the status of Blomkamp's Alien sequel. She responded:

I hope that Neill Blomkamp and I will eventually get back to it. He’s written such a wonderful script. I look forward to finishing Ripley’s story.

The interesting part is the idea that Alien 5 would finally be an end to Ripley’s story, something which Weaver has been long-vocal about wanting to do.

'Aliens' [Credit: 20th Century Fox]
'Aliens' [Credit: 20th Century Fox]

You can blame Alien: Resurrection for this open ended part of the Alien narrative. Though Alien 3 wasn't all that well received by some fans, it was an excellent ending to Ripley's saga — sacrificing herself to save humanity, stop the Xenomorphs, and throw a giant middle finger to the Weyland-Yutani Corporation. Perfection.

But then Resurrection brought Ripley back as a baseball playing clone, and ended with her returning to Earth hundreds of years after she first departed aboard the Nostromo. The movie itself felt like a bit of a flat end to Ripley's saga, especially with the weird Alien Queen/Ripley hybrid that was the abomination of the Newborn.

But while Alien 5 is set to end Ripley's story, it looks like Alien: Covenant may lead back into her beginning. Scott has long claimed that his Prometheus sequels would lead into the "back end" of the Alien franchise, tying the two together at last.

And according to (unconfirmed) reports from the set of Alien: Covenant, Katherine Waterston's new character Daniels is in fact Ellen Ripley's mother. This report was later removed from the page "at the request of the studio", so it may actually be legit.

This means that, while Ripley herself won't appear in Alien: Covenant, we're going to see the beginnings of her beginning in the new movie. You can't win them all, but perhaps this means we'll finally get the movie that we hoped Prometheus would be. We'll find out for sure when Alien: Covenant releases on May 19, 2017 in the US.

What do you want to see in Alien: Covenant? Sound off in the comments below!

'Aliens' [Credit: 20th Century Fox]
'Aliens' [Credit: 20th Century Fox]

(Sources: Variety; The Playlist)