Sigourney Weaver's Ripley return will pick up after 'Aliens', ignoring other sequels

Director Neill Blomkamp has revealed his new "Alien" movie will overwrite "Alien 3" and "Alien: Resurrection".

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) sets her sights on the xenomorphs with the help of Corporal Hicks (Michael Biehn) in "Aliens". Fox

We've all suffered through movies we wish we could strike from our memories -- and the new "Alien" movie is set to do that officially, writing off everything after "Aliens".

In a video seen by blogging site /FILM, director Neill Blomkamp and star Signourney Weaver confirmed during an interview with the UK's Sky Movies that they are working together on a new film in the "Alien" series. They also revealed that the film will fit into the series before the unpopular "Alien 3" and "Alien: Resurrection" sequels.

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The chest-bursting, acid-dripping sci-fi horror series began with Ridley Scott's haunted-house-in-space chiller "Alien" in 1979, in which Weaver played ass-kicker Ellen Ripley. James Cameron directly continued Ripley's story in "Aliens" in 1986, albeit with a marked shift in tone.

David Fincher's "Alien 3" also took up Ripley's story, but dismayed fans by killing off the previous film's other survivors -- and to add insult to injury it was done offscreen, before Jean-Pierre Jeunet's 1997 "Alien Resurrection" brought Ripley back as a part-alien clone. The latter two films are certainly stylish and audacious exercises in science fiction, but fans have long considered them as being the point where the series lost its way in narrative terms.

So now it looks like Blomkamp is going to just pretend they never happened, a bit like how "Superman Returns" wrote off all the Superman movies after "Superman II".

Blomkamp, the South African director of sci-fi films "District 9" and " Elysium", first signalled his dream of an "Alien" movie by posting concept art on Instagram earlier this year. He developed the film in his own time after working with Weaver, but after a huge fan reaction 20th Century Fox quickly gave the film the green light.

Blomkamp's concept art features both Ripley and surviving space marine Dwayne Hicks, played by Michael Biehn in "Aliens", although it's currently unknown as to whether Biehn will reprise his role. There's also no word yet on whether we'll see a return for other "Aliens" characters such as bifurcated 'bot Bishop, played previously by Lance Henriksen, or adorable alien-dodging scamp Rebecca "Newt" Jorden, played in "Aliens" by child actor Carrie Henn. Henn never acted in anything else and grew up to be a school teacher, so a grown-up actor would probably be cast.

In the meantime, Blomkamp's "Chappie", which tells the tale of a robot discovering its humanity, is in cinemas this weekend.

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