neill blomkamp sequels

Neill Blomkamp may be temporarily stepping away from feature films to focus his energies on his new experimental Oats Studios, but that doesn’t mean he’s not entertaining the notion of returning to the world of District 9, the sci-fi movie that put him on the map.

It does mean, however, that he’s finally killing that Alien 5 project that he’s been been teasing for a long, long time.

Blomkamp talked about his future projects and the ones that definitely aren’t happening in an interview with The Verge while promoting the short film studio he is launching.

While he seems to be focused on the passion project that is Oats Studios, Blomkamp hinted that he is thinking about his future feature films. Naturally, he was asked about the two buzziest projects that his name has been attached to: Alien and a District 9 sequel. And he gave some bad news and good news.

The bad news — that Alien 5 is not happening — isn’t a huge surprise considering Ridley Scott has taken back ownership of the sci-fi horror franchise with Prometheus and Alien: Covenant (and if he has his way, he won’t be relinquishing it any time soon). He told The Verge:

I think it’s totally dead, yes. That would be an accurate assumption at this point. It’s sad. I spent a long time working on that, and I feel like it was really pretty awesome. But politically, the way it’s gone now, and the way that it all is — it’s just not going to live.

Blomkamp clarified what he meant by “politically,” saying that Ridley’s latest Alien films set the franchise down a different path than Blomkamp had expected, and he wanted to be “respectful and not go stamping around in this world that he created.” You may remember that Blomkamp’s idea was a direct sequel to James Cameron’s Aliens that ignored the events of the controversial Alien 3, a choice that left fans of the series divided.

And what of a sequel to Blomkamp’s 2009 social commentary-charged sci-fi debut? While Blomkamp has made a point of avoiding a making a sequel to District 9 right away, instead releasing original films Elysium and Chappie, he said that he wants to return to that world in another feature film:

With District 9, I plan on making another film in that world. To go back and work with WETA, and make the film would be cool, but anything that pre-exists like that may not be the best fit for whatever we’re trying here.”

So fans curious over the fate of Wikus (Sharlto Copley) probably won’t get the answers they crave. But a spin-off in the world of District 9 could probably be equally if not more fascinating, because of the bleak picture of alien apartheid that the first film painted. I thought the film was more powerful for its social commentary inspired by Blomkamp’s own experiences in apartheid-era South Africa than in the action-packed storyline of Wikus. To see a spin-off film explore that world with another story would be a fascinating approach.

Oats Studios’ short films are set to arrive on the streaming service Steam soon.

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