James Cameron took a moment in an interview to express concern and a degree of cautious optimism about Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant.
Vulture interviewed James Cameron concerning issues of politics and his personal interests. Along the way, they threw in a question about his thoughts on the next movie in the Alien series.
Vulture: How do you feel about the upcoming Alien sequel, Alien: Covenant?
James Cameron: The franchise has kind of wandered all over the map. Ridley [Scott] did the first film, and he inspired an entire generation of filmmakers and science-fiction fans with that one movie and there have been so many films that stylistically have derived from it, including my own Aliens, which was the legitimate sequel and, I think, the proper heir to his film. I sort of did it as a fanboy. I wanted to honor his film, but also say what I needed to say. After that, I don’t take any responsibility. I don’t think it’s worked out terribly well. I think we’ve moved on beyond it. It’s like, okay, we’ve got it, we’ve got the whole Freudian biomechanoid meme. I’ve seen it in 100 horror films since. I think both of those films stand at a certain point in time, as a reference point. But is there any validity to doing another one now? I don’t know. Maybe. Let’s see, jury’s out. Let’s see what Ridley comes up with. Let me just add to that — and don’t cut this part off, please — I will stand in line for any Ridley Scott movie, even a not-so-great one, because he is such an artist, he’s such a filmmaker. I always learn from him. And what he does with going back to his own franchise would be fascinating.
While James Cameron might have a point with the idea of a the monster being biomechanical in design not being as new and refreshing as it was back in 1979, one can’t deny that there’s something intrinsically creepy about the Xenomorph, with its design reflecting a kind of primal fear that most movie monsters can’t capture. If Ridley Scott can recapture that in his next film, then it’s likely that that will make up for the idea seeming a bit derivative these days.
Alien: Covenant will be released on May 19, 2017. There’s still no official confirmation that James Cameron’s next Avatar movie will come out in 2018 as intended due to the numerous delays that the sequel has faced (along with there being no word on a start date for filming).