Neill Blomkamp knows full well just how much sway a good piece of concept art can have in the online geek ecosystem. It was only last January that a batch of artwork, released on Instagram and depicting an older, battle-scarred Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) and Hicks (Michael Biehn), resulted in a clamour of interest for Blomkamp’s seemingly abandoned Alien 5.
“Was working on this,” Blomkamp wrote at the time; “Don’t think I am anymore.”
Interest in seeing Weaver and Biehn reunite for an Alien sequel seemed to light a fire under the project, since it seemed to be gathering pace as 2015 wore on. Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant, out in 2017, seems to have held the sequel up somewhat, but Weaver and Biehn remain insistent that the movie will still happen.
Only the other day, the Alien star said she’d be “Really surprised” if Alien 5 didn’t get made. “It’ll be worth the wait,” Weaver added.
Since then, Blomkamp has taken to Instragram once again with a new piece of concept art. Released to coincide with the fan-led Alien Day, the artwork shows a 27-year-old Newt – as described by Michael Biehn last year. It’s a much looser, less detailed sketch than the concepts we’ve already seen, yet it still offers plenty to get our teeth into. The outfit has a military look to it, which suggests that the grown-up Newt may follow the career path of her surrogate father, Hicks. We also dig the outsized space snood – very 1980s.
The most obvious speculation, we suppose, surrounds the casting. The artwork appears to be closely modelled on Carrie Henn, the actress who played Newt in 1986’s Aliens. Given that she’s largely ducked out of the acting profession since that film, it’s supremely unlikely that Henn will be back. So who would step into Newt’s shoes?
Last year, Biehn described Alien 5 as “a passing of the torch between Sigourney and this younger actress,” which implies that Fox will – logically – want Newt to appear in future sequels. Emma Stone is currently the perfect age to take the role on; Juno Temple is another name occasionally brought up by Alien fans.
More news on Alien 5 as we get it.