'Alien' Franchise's Path Since 'Aliens' Leaves James Cameron Cold (But He's Still a Big Ridley Scott Fan)

Sigourney Weaver and Carrie Henn in ‘Aliens’ (Fox)
Sigourney Weaver and Carrie Henn in ‘Aliens’ (Fox)

By Graeme McMillan, The Hollywood Reporter

In 1986, James Cameron‘s Aliens proved that there was life in the Alien concept beyond Ridley Scott‘s first movie. But 30 years later, Cameron isn’t convinced that the series should have continued beyond that point.

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“The franchise has kind of wandered all over the map,” the Avatar and Terminator director told Vulture when asked about Scott’s upcoming Alien: Covenant. “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.”

Cameron said that the first movie had “inspired an entire generation of filmmakers and science-fiction fans,” adding, “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.”

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He was careful to clarify his stance on Ridley Scott as a filmmaker, however. “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,” he said. “I always learn from him. And what he does with going back to his own franchise would be fascinating.”

Well, it’s not often that 2012’s Prometheus gets called “fascinating,” if nothing else.

Alien: Covenant opens May 19.

James Cameron’s ‘Aliens’: Watch a trailer: