Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?
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You guys and gals ever heard the one that goes, “Sigourney Weaver wants to make a fifth Alien movie with Ridley Scott to reclaim the franchise’s past glory…and this time it’s set on Earth!”? Times infinity, right? Well, Weaver recently told MTV that she was genuinely, like seriously this time, considering making a third sequel with Scott…but then the first Alien Vs. Predator caca-fest happened and then AVP: Requiem fell on top of Alien‘s remaining potential like a piano made of dung. Ripley is forever dead says Weaver (…or is she just enjoying a space nap?). Yeah, I forgot to intro with, “this post is headed to Bummerville.”
“The last time [Ridley and I] saw each other we talked about it. The character is still interesting [and] I’d love to work with Ridley again,” Weaver said. “But Fox has effectively killed it because of ‘Alien vs. Predator.’ What else can you do with the creature? You can take the situation, you can go back to where they came from. …To play someone who ages a couple hundred years was fascinating. [But] let [Ripley] rest.”
Last month we reported on a rumor circulating that had a third Alien Vs. Predator movie going forward. No new developments there. While 1997’s Alien Resurrection was veddy underwhelming, it’s a shame that 20th Century Fox has reduced the Alien creature, one of the pinnacle visions for sci-fi and horror, to the lowly status of an exhausted tag-team wrestler. Same for the Predator, natch, though the Predator doesn’t rely on a lifeline of mystery, darkness and dread to be effective. These cross-pollinating franchises need to take a breather and go back to the drawing board.
Discuss: Is this news surprising? Do you think a fifth Alien movie would have happened if AVP didn’t blow it? In your opinion, should a new Alien movie even include Ripley at this point, not to say Weaver isn’t great? Do you think a remake of Alien or Predator will happen in the next couple years?
Shock Till You Drop received a tip over the weekend from a source at 20th Century Fox who claimed that a sequel to last December’s generally hated Aliens vs. Predator – Requiem is a “certainty.” A second sequel in the battle royal sci-fi horror franchise would be rather surprising, as AvP-R didn’t reach $50 million domestically, though it made about $130 million worldwide. However one might expect sales of the DVD, set for April 15th, to be rather healthy. As aforementioned, after much boasting by visual effects wizard brothers Colin Strause and Greg Strause, their film still sucked about as much as the first AVP flick from Paul W.S. Anderson. The source didn’t clarify whether the Brothers Strause would return.
The question here is whether this potentially landmark franchise can ever retain the promise that existed in so many fanboys’ heads before it became a cinematic reality. Twentieth Century Fox has to realize at this point that the key factor to making an AVP film that can reach $100 million domestic (and a third film still could) is the director. At this point they need to go with a well known action director rather than a young hot shot with visual acumen.
While some of the thrill is gone after two outings, especially amongst the non-geek mainstream, an injection of class and a detachment from the prior two films could still make considerable bank. I doubt they could get Ridley Scott at this point, but that’s the type of talent they should aim for. And this isn’t about AVP so much as rebooting the Aliens and Predator franchises, neither of which are particularly strong go-to’s right now. As seen from the boffo grosses and insatiable interest in I Am Legend, moviegoers want their dark sci-fi, so do it right or don’t bother.
Discuss: Can you ever get excited for an AVP film again after the first two?Â