All you need to know about Aliens
Mankind has been in search for answers about the presence of extraterrestrial life for quite some time now, and the film industry, ever one to participate in such lofty quests, has done its bit too. One of the most groundbreaking films in the sci-fi genre was Ridley Scott’s Alien released in 1979, the brainchild of writers Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett.
The original Alien was a sci-fi horror story in which an extraterrestrial creature invades and kills the members of a spaceship. The film not only catapulted Ridley Scott and Sigourney Weaver into celebrity status, it also led to the genre dominating the film landscape of the 80s.
From Terminator to Alien
Following the success of The Terminator, director James Cameron became Fox’s choice to direct the sequel. Drawing inspiration from the Vietnam War, Cameron wrote and directed the franchise’s most successful film to date, Aliens (1986). The film was nominated for seven Academy awards and won two: Sound Effects Editing and Visual Effects (the latter award was also bagged by the first film). Sigourney Weaver received her first ever Academy Award nomination for this sequel, which was a huge boost to the still nascent sci-fi genre, and this continued her on a journey that would earn her the moniker ‘Sci-Fi Queen’
Luck of the franchise
Continuing the trend of directors of this franchise going on to become some of the greatest directors of all-time, Aliens 3 (1992) marked the directorial debut of David Fincher. Weaver reprised her role of Ellen Ripley for the third and final time. The film, however, released to mixed reviews, and did not do well in America. Yet, it was an unexpected hit across borders, and got nominated for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.
Just like the Alien creature in the films that evolves through a four-step process of egg, facehugger, chestbuster to its final xenomorph form, Alien:Resurrection, the fourth film in series, was expected to help the franchise evolve. Written by a certain Joss Whedon, who would go on to be called the ‘father of television sci-fi’, the film was a dud, but garnered appreciation from the creator of the Alien creature, the surrealist painter HR Giger.
Blast from the past
Prometheus, released in 2012, takes place thirty years prior to the events of the first film. This prequel explored mankind’s first encounter with the xenomorphs. The title was inspired by the Greek mythological character, Prometheus, who stole the fire from Zeus and gave life to mankind. While the film was not successful, it did, indeed, bring a lot of attention back to the franchise, with Micheal Fassbender’s role as the android David receiving much praise.
Fassbender reprises his role, and doubles up as another android, Walter, in the upcoming Alien:Covenant. The presence of Katherine Waterston, who plays a terraforming expert in the upcoming film, harks back to the first and second films, which are set on a terraforming colony. The film is expected to take the story forward from Prometheus. Scott has promised at least two more films before he ties in to the 1979 film. With this Friday’s release, we do believe that that is one covenant he won’t break.