Okay so I recently read about the new Alien movie coming out and I felt the need to throw my ten cents at something. Hello somethings.
Let's go to Space
A very large part of the Aliens universe is the whole space element. From waking up from cryo-stasis to scuttling the ship out of desperation, space is the theme Alien 5 needs to go back to. Space is scary, the vast majority of people don’t actually know much about it. Take that association and use it like in the first movie to set the scene, then play off it. Space colonization ship maybe?
Little bit of Alien, Little bit of Aliens
Personally I will always find Aliens to be my favorite of the Alien series simply because the combination of scary and action was just my taste. That said, I would certainly call the original my close second pick as the suspense was on-point and I don’t think it’s been recreated quite right in any of the sequels. My hope for [Alien 5](movie:1468950) is that the story can have elements of both; terrified crew just trying to survive, and a collection of determined characters who are more angry than afraid. Finding a way to balance that just seems crucial.
It’s time to bring back the Colonial Marines! While the original movie is starred by Ripley and her slimy antagonist, all of the sequels seem to draw more on the personality and reactions of the characters…and human-xeno-baby…thing. I think it has worked pretty well and that approach will continue to do so, so long as we get some Vasquez-esq characters carrying guns bigger than them to rally behind!
When I say Burke what do you think of? Personally I thought Burke was beautifully written and performed character. He was such a slim-ball from left field and it worked so well. His actions and reactions were believable and I know I was not the only one satisfied with the way he came about his end. Alien 5 needs its own Burke or two. People who are not necessarily assholes openly but when things start hitting fans they lookout for themselves and only themselves in ways that make the audience sneer, the protagonist struggle, the story advance, and who’s ultimate fate leaves us feeling satisfied that cosmic justice has been dealt.
Jones the cat is, without a doubt, the luckiest character in the history of the Alien franchise. “And you, you little shit-head... you're staying here”-Ripley, Aliens. The cat pretends to be chill, per cat MO, but internally there’s certainly more than a little celebrating. Jones plays a very solid role in Alien by functioning as a “be scared now” sign for the director to hold up for the audiences benefit. Alien 5 needs an animal supporting character with a serious “Nope, nope, nope, nope, NOPE!” sense for characters to ignore or notice too late.
My biggest quarrel with the original Alien movie is the small cast size. Call me morbid but when creatures as lethal as the Xenomorphs (one alien is just not doing it for me either, sorry) are on the loose I’m expecting a body count, a significant body count. There should be a good balance between minor side characters from a variety of backgrounds to help a range of viewers connect with the movie, and some simple stunt doubles getting dragged into the ceiling because it’s a scary concept. A core group of maybe half a dozen characters leading a withering group of survivors toward the idea of safety is Alien franchise standard and it works. Just don’t turn it into a one-by-one pick off like Resurrection, please? Give us unexpected heroism from the girl who had all of three lines all movie or two serious characters in an air vent with a hand grenade and an up-yours attitude as they stare into the eyes of death. Mix it up a bit.
Ripley and Weyland
Ripley should at the very least be mentioned, if not included to a degree. I think it is time to pass the torch of primary hero in the Alien series (Sorry Sigourney, I love you as an actress but…age), however Ripley needs to at least be involved in Alien 5 to a degree. I’m thinking as a consult to a Weyland team via comms from her setup in the fourth movie. Basically I think Ripley should have a presence as a voice-over provided by a “non-original” Ripley (voiced by Sigourney, non-original means clones not recast). DO NOT try to recast Ripley. Don’t do it. Weyland-Yutani is the other Alien constant and I think at the very least they need a nod, if not direct impact on the story.
Different Types of Xenomorphs
One of the things that the movies have poked at, and the video game adaptations have fully embraced, is the idea of different forms of Xenomorph. I think the video games really took things in the right direction, one of the few nice things I will say about the games. As scary as a vanilla Xeno drone is, things get rather repetitive in short amounts of time. As we all know, a jump scare loses its flare after…well once. Alien 5 needs some new, acidic as ever, blood. Sound off in the comments and let’s brainstorm some ideas for new tricks and forms for the Xenos to come in!
Upgrades, and Make ‘em Shiny
Between Alien and Aliens there’s a nice jump in technology. Assault weapons, non-improvised flamethrowers, androids what don’t get off killing humans, it’s a whole new world! Then we go through Alien 3 and head back to basics with fire axes, prison shanks, and the importance of cardio. All three have their signature feel and that’s great, but Resurrection didn't have any really mind blowing bits of technology. As fun as wheelchair shotguns, wrist mounted handguns, and a thermos blunderbuss are, there were no pieces of technology that earned more than an “oh neat” reaction. Alien 5 needs to bring out the mech-walkers and smart turrets but new and improved. Give us something shiny to daydream about owning.
This is the End
Leave the movie with at least a partially-open ending. I think it’s been established that the franchise has an interest in spin-offs like the video games so give developers somewhere to come from. I don’t think anyone wants a repeat of Aliens: Colonial Marines so give the inevitable new game that will follow Alien 5 its own launch-pad, don’t make expansions have to join in to the series via violent boarding action. If you don’t give us an open ending, because even if not everyone is interested in some new video games, any expansion would be fantastic, leave an unexplained element for said expansions. Alien strikes me as a series begging to be the next movie that breaks into a television show. There is a ton of potential for Alien 5 to be the spark that reignites the public’s love for face-hugging and leaving Alien 5 as a simple 2 hour “next chapter” would be a massive disappointment and waste of that potential.