Much like its Predator and Terminator cousins, recent times have been far from plain sailing for the Alien film franchise. With both Prometheus and Covenant having failed to inspire much positivity from either critics or audiences, it’s been looking increasingly likely that we wouldn’t be seeing new offerings from the 40 year iconic movie series any time soon. But a number of posts on the franchise’s official Instagram account this week seem to be suggesting that Aliens fans may well be in for an unexpected treat of some kind in 2019.
Despite going to near-superhuman lengths to directly reference and pay homage to the original Alien movies, it’s become increasingly apparent that Ridley Scott’s view of the Alien-verse isn’t one that connects with wider audiences anymore. The origin story of the iconic Xenomorphs holds little interest for anybody other than the most hard-core of fans, and its now abundantly clear that the brand needs both new direction and vision. But with Neill Blomkamp’s proposed reboot officially off the table, what realistic options are available to the studio?
The six posts on the Alien Instagram account this week take the form of a series of messages from a whistle-blower embedded within the Weyland-Yutani Corporation. They document the company’s obsessive attempts to weaponize the acid-blooded species, from illegal human testing up to the eradication of an entire lunar colony. It’s gripping stuff, but has not been followed up with any official announcement of what the posts are actually leading up to.
Rumors that all Alien movie projects were being shelved, to be replaced by a TV project have been growing in strength of late , so it’s possible that these messages are the start of a viral campaign to announce the existence of the new series. It’s also a possibility that this could be the basis for a new Aliens video game project, with an article recently exposing that Fox had trademarked the title ‘Aliens: Blackout’ for use in the computer games sector.
One final option can be found via the fact that the character Amanda Ripley (daughter of Ellen Ripley) is referenced in the Instagram posts via a hashtag. Amanda was introduced into the series back in 2013 when she headlined the Alien: Isolation video game, and there is a new comic book run scheduled for release in January 2019 that will continue her story. It’s mentioned in the official synopsis for the comic that the story will see her linking up with a former Colonial Marine to expose a sinister bio-weapons program, so it could be that the posts are part of a wider advertising campaign for that project.
Regardless of where the posts are ultimately leading, it will likely come as a relief to Alien fans that there is still activity going on within the franchise, nixing rumors that Disney would be looking to sideline it in favor of more family-friendly content.