I'm really confused about all things "Alien" right now.

Ridley Scott's spent much of his time on the "Martian" press tour talking about how he's going to be making "Alien: Paradise Lost" as his next film. At the same time, Neill Blomkamp just dropped an image of a pulse rifle for his "Alien" film, which people are calling "Alien 5" when they write about it even though it's unclear how the math is going to work by the time it comes out.

I assume there's some sort of narrative plan that makes sense of the fact that the studio is releasing two radically different films set in the same universe in a fairly tight window of time from two directors who have very different ideas about the series. Right now, both films are angling for a 2017 release. Could that really happen?

Even though Ridley Scott was there at the very start of things, his film seems like the riskier of the two for Fox since it's a sequel to "Prometheus," a movie that was not particularly well-loved. Blomkamp, on the other hand, seems to be determined to make a direct sequel to "Aliens," which is arguably the most beloved film in the series, and one that played things very different than the way Ridley Scott's film handled them.

At this point, I'm genuinely curious… which one of these are you more excited by? Either? Both? Neither? Are you sick of the world of "Alien," or does it sound like two films in one year is the Christmas gift you never knew you wanted?

Here's Blomkamp's picture from Instagram:


We all knew there would be pulse rifles. Obviously. Now with added RIS

A photo posted by Brownsnout (@neillblomkamp) on

That account also has some other recent "Alien" art, as well as images of what appears to be Blomkamp's "Alien" development room with lots of art up on the walls.

No official date yet for either of these. We'll keep you posted.
"The Martian" is in theaters now.

A respected critic and commentator for fifteen years, Drew McWeeny helped create the online film community as "Moriarty" at Ain't It Cool News, and now proudly leads two budding Film Nerds in their ongoing movie education.