Earlier this year Sonnet Realm Films announced their new fan film - Alien: Identity. Set 14 years after Aliens but disregarding the events of Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection, the film was to see Newt surviving the journey she took with Ripley and Hicks at the conclusion of Aliens.
The official synopsis from Sonnet Realm's website follows below:
"When given confidential information about her traumatizing youth, deep space colonist Rebecca "Newt" Jorden, must find the courage to face her new found identity."
Carrie Hern, who originally played Newt in Aliens, was set to portray Rebecca's mother, Anne Jorden, alongside Ricco Ross who played Pvt. Robert Frost (also in Aliens.)
Sounds good, right?
A little too good, according to 20th Century Fox.
Though the studio has usually been very gracious in allowing production of fan films in the past, it seems that Alien: Identity would have cut a little too close to the bone to what they have planned for Alien 5 (not the official title), as they issued a cease and desist to the studio last month.
"The fact of the matter is we got too much press and too much attention," said Alien: Identity director, Adam Sonnet. "We understand that this is Fox's intellectual property and we want to respect their wishes. Therefore we peacefully withdraw from any further production of Alien Identity."
There's been a super tight lid kept on details for the upcoming Alien 5, with some doubting that it is in fact going to happen at all. So whilst the cancellation of Alien: Identity is a real shame for Sonnet Realm, it gives us a little glimpse into what we can expect from Neill Blomkamp's take on Alien.
Disregarding Alien 3 & Alien: Resurrection?
It's previously been reported that Alien 5, like Alien: Identity, will disregard the third and fourth films in the Alien franchise.
The 'cryosleep nightmare' theory which has circled widely in the fan-verse posits that the last two films didn't actually happen, but rather are the product of a nightmare experienced by Ripley in cryosleep. This theory would mean that Alien 5 could open with Ripley, Hicks and Newt still in cryosleep in the escape pod, perhaps many of years later. Certainly Sonnet Realm seem to have picked up on this theory:
"It has been pretty much accepted as canon, that the last two films of the series are considered cryo-sleep nightmares, which we have no objection to." said Adam Sonnet.
However, though this may have been the way Sonnet Realm intended to go about it, Blomkamp seems to be taking a slightly different path.
"I’m not trying to undo Alien 3 or Alien Resurrection. My favourites are the first two movies. I want to make a film that’s connected to Alien and Aliens. That’s my goal." - Neill Blomkamp
So Blomkamp's film will take place after Aliens but won't undo the events of the following films in the canon. Rather it seems like he intends to make a sibling film, perhaps an alternate universe kind of deal?
Unfortunately we'll have to wait until more details emerge before we can make an educated guess on that point.
Will Newt make an appearance?
“I love the character Newt. Bringing her back has been something I’ve thought about for years." - Adam Sonnet
No matter how you slice it, it seems increasingly likely that Newt is going to show up at some point in Alien 5. Many fans felt disappointed about the deaths of her and Corp. Hicks at the beginning of Alien 3 which in fact we didn't even get to see, rather witnessing the aftermath when Ripely returns to the crashed pod.
Given that Michael Biehn is rumoured to be attached to the project, it would make a whole lot of sense for us to see a grown up Newt alongside an older, scarred Hicks.
It has been confirmed that Sigourney Weaver will be reprising her role as Ripley, so it's unlikely that Newt will be our main character if she does appear though.