Neill Blomkamp’s top secret Alien sequel has suffered a potentially indefinite setback; Blomkamp announced on Twitter that the project is now on hold.

“Alien is kinda holding/ pending Prometheus 2. So I shall be working on other things... as much as I love the xeno- and Lt Ripley.”

After the internet went crazy for Blomkamp’s fantastic concept artwork for the untitled movie, 20th Century Fox quickly gave the go-ahead to start pre-production. While no story details were revealed, the artwork depicted Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), and battle-scarred Hicks (Michael Biehn) and it was unclear when Blomkamp’s sequel would be set in the timeline. Needless to say, fan speculation reached a fever pitch with theories of time travel, more cloning or even ignoring the events of Alien 3 and Resurrection. 

Ridley Scott is readying his return to outer space with his sequel to Prometheus, Alien: Paradise Lost goes into production early next year and is due for release sometime in 2017. Scott insisted that his movie got made first, but the plan was to get Blomkamp’s Alien sequel out the following year. The exact reasons for Fox shelving the project remain a mystery; perhaps the studio want to wait and see how Scott’s movie performs considering the mixed reception to Prometheus. On the other hand, if that were true then surely there would be no need to put their plans on hold as it takes time to get movies of this size camera ready.

The Alien franchise is one I have been endlessly fascinated with for decades, I’m not a fan of Alien vs. Predator or its messy sequel, and the less said about Resurrection, the better.  Even though the bad ones now outnumber the good Alien movies, the first two are bonafide classics and redefined science fiction cinema. It was thrilling to see Blomkamp’s enthusiasm for his Alien project, and I can’t help but feel disappointed we may never see it.