The good news? Ridley Scott is making a new Alien movie. The bad news? It's going to be in 3-D.
How, exactly, is that bad news? Because Alien 5 (or whatever it's going to be called -- probably not Alien 5), is supposed to completely revive the franchise. To me, that means restoring the series' artfulness. Here's the deal -- the Predator series, while cool, is a macho B-movie action franchise (one I wouldn't mind seeing in 3-D, honestly). When you mix Alien with Predator, you don't get a highbrow Predator film, you get a dumb actioner with Aliens in it. And that's just fine for AVP, but for the stand-alone Alien series, no matter how dull it got in Alien 3 or how comic booky it got in Alien Resurrection, the series has always maintained a deliberate measure of artsy panache. There's something almost indefinably elegant about the franchise, even at its clumsiest.
An Alien prequel feels unnecessary, but the fact that Ridley Scott, the director of the first and best (you know this in your heart to be true) Alien film was coming onboard to direct had me thinking that the series would return to something quieter, more adult, less interested in pleasing fans of a blast-em-up video game. Now, Shadow Locked is reporting that the prequel will be shot in glorious three-dimensions. Ugh. I'd wear the Real-D glasses if I wasn't so busy rolling my eyes.
Is there anything about 3-D that strikes you as elegant? Does this seem like a step toward making the upcoming film capture some of Scott's original creeping tone of pitch-black dread? To me, it sounds like more kid's stuff in my beloved Alien franchise; more of a catering to the youth market than re-selling to the adult audience that declared the original a modern classic. The mere fact that it's a prequel is gimmick enough. I don't need another gimmick on top of the gimmick. It's tacky, and the Alien series has never been tacky.