Alien Day may be a fake holiday cooked up to promote Alien-related products and projects, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate and enjoy it. Director Neill Blomkamp, for one, got in on the festivities by unveiling a bit of concept art from his delayed Alien sequel that Sigourney Weaver says is still happening. It’s especially intriguing because it shows an adult Newt, fitting with earlier reports that the film would ignore the events of Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection. Check it out below.
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The costume design looks simple and practical, and Newt’s no-nonsense expression suggests she is not someone to be trifled with. She looks, in short, like an Ellen Ripley for a new age. But the real question here is whether we’re okay with ignoring a huge chunk of the franchise’s continuity. Because Newt, you’ll remember, died early in Alien 3 when she was still a child. Blomkamp has insisted that he’s “not trying to undo” Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection, but unless Blomkamp has a really good explanation, reviving a dead character sure seems like doing just that.
Last year, actor Michael Biehn, whose character Hicks also died in Alien 3, put it more bluntly. “The basic idea is acting like Alien 3 and 4 never existed,” he said at the time. “They’re planning on bringing me and Newt back and at this point Newt will be around twenty-seven years old.” The idea, he continued, was for Weaver to “pass the torch” to the younger actress playing Newt, who would then take over as the new franchise lead.
It’s true that Alien and Aliens are more highly regarded than Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection, and that it’s really up to the filmmakers and the studio to say what goes in this fictional universe. That said, it seems like an odd choice to scrub half the Alien films from the continuity. Or maybe it’s not really that surprising. Because as Biehn explained: “It would keep the franchise alive and the studios would make money, because that’s what the bottom line is now: money.”