Neill Blomkamp's Unmade Alien Movie

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Neill Blomkamp

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Neill Blomkamp is a film director, producer, screenwriter, and animator. His latest film, "Demonic," is in theaters and video on demand now.

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What are other sci-fi favorites of yours? Alien. Alien, yeah. That's why I was really excited when I heard that you were, at least potentially, at one point in time, thinking about doing an Alien. Yeah, it would have been cool. What happened? It's just, you know, just studio politics and the... I do think that the way that Chappie was received probably played a role in me not working on Alien, but, you know, it's Ridley's world that he created and it's like, it should be his to do what he wants with, so it's all good. Yeah, I get that, but still would have been fun. Yeah, it would have been fun for me as well. I mean, the thing that I would have really enjoyed about it was Sigourney Weaver was really down for what I'd written and she... The main thing to me was, even though I like Alien 3 and I love Fincher as a director, I just wanted a version of the continuation of what happened after Aliens and for Newt to be alive and for Ripley to continue that story and it was sort of based on that idea. Is the kid who played Newt, how old is she now? I mean, in my story, she was in her kind of mid-20s. I mean, Aliens just turned 35, so she must be, you know, like 44 or something. Isn't that wild? It's wild when you find out that the movie, the original, was from the 70s. 79, yeah. Yeah, you're like, what? It seems so much more current than a 1970s movie. Yeah, I mean, that's one of the things that's amazing about it is how timeless it is. And also, just... I mean, I saw it in a theater a couple of years ago and I couldn't believe just the quality of everything. It's really amazing how well it was filmed. I accidentally watched the Blu-ray version of Aliens and it's kind of hilarious because in the Blu-ray version, things that were not meant to be HD are now HD. So there's a scene where the spaceships are lined up and there's clearly a mural of spaceships in the background. It looks so fucking fake. Oh, you mean a matte painting? Yes. When they're in the siloco, when they're in the military ship, the big one? Yes, I think. I think I know what you mean. It looks so corny. I'm like, no. Because there's this physical ship and then behind it is just some bullshit. It's so clear that they used... They expected focus and the kind of grainyness of film to mask that. Yeah, matte paintings, pre-computer graphics were done on panes of glass. In a way, Aliens, using the technology that they had at the time is actually totally incredible. But I do know what you're saying though. For audiences now weaned on the stuff that we have access to, these techniques are so dated. But it would be a large pane of glass, like a shower piece of glass and then they would paint what they want the set to look like and shoot through it with your other real environments as well. That's why the shots are always locked off. They're always stable. Obviously, you can't move. Aliens was interesting by itself if Alien didn't exist. The problem with Aliens is these creatures are so bumbling and easy to kill. In the first movie, that thing was so clever. Pure terror. Yeah, pure terror. So clever and so good at sneaking up on people. I think the thing that Cameron did with the second film was pretty amazing though in the way that he made it militaristic. It changed the context. I think because of that, and also there was the Vietnam War, high technology, low technology, sort of parable at play. It was two forces, in which case it makes the Aliens be more. There's an abundance of them. But I almost like both films equally, I think. Both approaches.