Once upon a time, Neill Blomkamp, the wunderkind who basically popped out of nowhere and brought us a relatively fresh spin on the alien invasion genre with District 9, pitched a proposal for Alien 5 to Fox and to Ridley Scott. Fox was interested, too, but then Scott decided he wanted to keep that sandbox for himself, and since he’d created the original 38 years ago, he got the greenlight instead of Blomkamp. While we’ve gotten Prometheus and now Alien: Covenant, Blomkamp’s project has been left in limbo. Scott, in an interview back in early May told French website Allocine when asked if Neill’s project would get a go-ahead: “I don’t think so, no.” Not one to let a good idea lay around, Neill found himself released from the confines of the original Alien mythos and used the opportunity to develop and release a first short film, titled Rakka, from Oats Studios.
Oats is Blomkamp’s own project house dedicated to making ambitious short films. He described the studio as an attempt to remain creative in a film industry that rewards endless sequels and franchises. Through Oats, he’ll be developing a range of potential projects, from serious science fiction to more off-beat concepts, with the hope that some of them may get picked up as feature films.
Speaking with The Verge, Neill described the genesis of Rakka:
“The original idea was to make make a science fiction piece that was about an occupying force in a foreign country, and it kind of grew around that. I always wanted to do a science fiction invasion piece that had direct parallels with an occupying force in a country, like the Germans in France, or Americans in Iraq. There’s these levels of armed troops that are walking through neighborhoods, and well-built buildings, and local politicians have been turned or manipulated. There is a lot of stuff in there that I felt was really interesting, and to look at it from a different point of view is really cool. That’s where the seed was from.”
So the film isn’t precisely Alien 5, but it does feature Sigourney Weaver and an invading alien force, so what more do you really need? It’ll be one of the better alien invasion films that you’ve seen in a while.
Once you’re done, don’t forget, there’s also a petition online to let Neill get his shot with Alien 5. But in the meantime, it’s good to see that he won’t leave a good idea on the table.
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