Neill Blomkamp is no stranger to science fiction. In fact, his entire career thus far has completely revolved around science fiction. From strange slimy creatures to functioning near-future robots, Blomkamp has always mixed inspired concepts with natural effects. For Neill, the Alien franchise is a perfect playground for his creative process.
To begin the new year, Blomkamp posted an assortment of concept art and images from an Alien project he was both involved and invested in. He posted these images on both his Instagram and Twitter accounts, which are still rather freshly-made and now mostly consist of this Alien concept art.
Ps this has nothing to do with the studio. I just feel like I might do something else instead. In which case why not show some work-
— Neill Blomkamp (@NeillBlomkamp) January 2, 2015
The phrasing “some work” might indicate he, without a doubt, has piles of research, concept art, and models, as well as workshops full of Xenomorph heads and Facehugger eggs. But for now, Neill teases us with what could-have-been had somebody picked up his focus on a new installation into the Alien franchise.
A photo posted by Brownsnout (@neillblomkamp) on
The first image is that of a Xenomorph Queen. The Queen has seen focus of both Aliens and Alien 3, as well as Alien Resurrection and spin-off Alien vs. Predator. Xenomorph Queens are typically the largest and most highly intelligent, mothering and controlling their egg-layed hives of smaller Xenomorphs. The involvement of a Queen in Blomkamps Alien project could indicate the plot being centered around her, or at the very least a heavy implicated narrative.
Wtf? A photo posted by Brownsnout (@neillblomkamp) on
In this image we see the familiar design of the Engineer Derelict ship that sent out the distress beacon from the original Alien film, as well as its prequeled functional return in Prometheus. The concept art shows it absolutely covered in organic material, the kind you might find in something overrun by Xenomorphs, being examined, constructed on, and analyzed in what is most likely a Weyland/Weylan-Yutani Corp. facility. This might fit the narrative of Prometheus, which has Weyland himself attempt to seek out the Engineer’s technology.
Une photo publiée par Brownsnout (@neillblomkamp) le
In this image we’re given a cropped-out tech-centric image. Speculation can deduce that it’s most likely something Weyland-Yutani, and most likely would had been either a human ship akin to the U.S.S. Sulaco from Alien 3 or architecture similar to the atmospheric processor found in Aliens, indicated by the flat bulkheads found in both designs. Blomkamp’s other photos have the image as a header background with the titled “Weyland Yutani Headquarters.”
#ripley #hicks A photo posted by Brownsnout (@neillblomkamp) on
Introducing familiar protagonists officer Ellen Ripley and not-dead squad leader Dwayne Hicks. Ripley’s actress Sigourney Weaver has expressed interest in returning to the role to neatly tie up her story in a fifth Alien film, and Hicks’ actor Michael Biehn reprised his role as the experienced soldier in the 2013 video game Aliens: Colonial Marines. Ripley’s slightly aged appearance and Hicks’ damaged face, could imply both Weaver and Biehn’s hopeful involvement in a modern Alien film.
Ett foto publicerat av Brownsnout (@neillblomkamp)
Blomkamp shows off his idea of a Weyland Corporation research facility. Most of Weyland Corp.’s architecture is heavily embedded in nature, while this facility shows an integration with nature that is enclosed in a warehouse-like environment. The image shows two humans standing in the facility observing a structure that, compared to the rest of the overhanging structure, is likely Engineer in origin. This is most likely another Weyland/Weyland-Yutani attempt at understanding the functionality of Engineer technology.
Oh shit A photo posted by Brownsnout (@neillblomkamp) on
One of the most straight-forward creations from Neill, here we can see a concept focused around the traditional Space Jockey helmet with directly-imitative designs of the Xenomorph’s skull. The Engineer’s bio-mechanical suits are also derivative of a species that looks unlike themselves, it’s speculative that Ripley’s Xenomorph-identical Space Jockey pilot helmet might be following that design.
This concept image has a striking resemblance in tone to deleted scene “The Cocoon Sequence”, from the original Alien. The scene shows Ripley discovering barely-conscious shipmate Dallas Arthur in a morbid mess of entangled organic material. This concept piece could be something similar, showing some insight to the painful transformation cycle from either the Xenomorphs naturally or Engineers artificially.
And finally, my home desk #xenomorph Une photo publiée par Brownsnout (@neillblomkamp) le
A bust of the traditional “Big Chap” drone Xenomorph from Alien sitting on Neill’s desk, amongst some other physical pieces including Master Chief’s helmet from his previously scrapped Halo movie project. Blomkamp has also posted back in November his own Halo creation of the Prophet when doing research for that film years ago, in the same vein as these Alien images.
Een foto die is geplaatst door Brownsnout (@neillblomkamp) op
Again, a not-dead Hicks, as his apparent movie death was undone by Aliens: Colonial Marines, appears in the physical state he was last seen. Both of his concept art appearances indicate Blomkamp intended for the veteran to be central to the new film’s narrative. The art was done by Geoffroy Thoorens, who shares a visual commonality with Blomkamp, as shown by his other works.
And Doug Williams – maybe I’ll go back to it ….love the world A photo posted by Brownsnout (@neillblomkamp) on
His final shared image is derivative of the original Alien Xenomorph egg and Facehugger creatures. More similar to the snake-worm Hammerpede from Prometheus, Blomkamp’s creature shows off nontraditional features that the Hammerpede displayed. Although there are variations of the Facehugger such as the Royal and Praetorian, it is more likely Neill’s parasite originates similar to the Hammerpede, which is the result of an indigenous species being exposed to the black-liquid chemical agent from Prometheus.
All of Neill Blomkamp’s released concept art shows a heavily invested attitude towards the style and legacy of Ridley Scott’s Alien franchise. There is no indication, and Blomkamp even clarifies, of any studio-endorsed Alien project including Neill Blomkamp or any of his production companies.
They didn’t really even know I was working on it ha — Neill Blomkamp (@NeillBlomkamp) January 2, 2015
It’s almost bittersweet to see all of this juicy Alien artwork. Blomkamp has stayed extremely busy in the science fiction realm after putting out his first feature-length film District 9. Since then, he has released another film, Elysium, and turned down an opportunity to work on the new Star Wars film to focus on his next release Chappie.
Hopefully this concept teasing piques enough interest in a Blomkamp-direct Alien film, as a simple scroll through the reactions of some of the Instagram postings shows that fans of both the franchise and of Neill Blomkamp are thirsty for that sort of production.