An Open Letter to Stacey Snider & 20th Century Fox
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Dear 20th Century Fox, We Need to Talk About ALIEN
For many years the fans have held a long appreciation and abiding love for the ALIEN universe. Most of us were introduced to the saga in the 80s, when ALIENS premiered. Some of us go further back, and remember seeing ALIEN in theaters in 1979. The ALIEN films have been a testament to the power of amazing storytelling, beginning with the haunting and perfect original, up through the much maligned, and now, much respected ALIEN 3, which concluded Ellen Ripley’s story arc.
Today, we find the ALIEN universe in a difficult place. As much as many of appreciate and love aspects of the latest canonical entries, Prometheus, and ALIEN: Covenant, there is widespread agreement that these new films are missing the gripping story and characters that so many of us came to love in the first three films. We owe so much debt to Ridley Scott, who masterfully told Dan O’Bannon’s story on screen, and James Cameron, who brought Ripley front and center, and David Fincher, who boldly completed Ripley’s journey, despite how unpopular the story was with fans, upon the film’s release in 1992.
Today, the fans continue to experience what many of us describe as ongoing trauma as it relates to the ALIEN films. We haven’t been united or unified over a new film, since 1986. Thirty-one years. It’s been rough going. As aforementioned, many of us love and appreciate so much of what Prometheus and Alien: Covenant had to offer, and yet these films have polarized and segmented the fanbase the likes of which we’ve never witnessed before.
For us, the answer was never about ‘more aliens.’ That was a criticism leveled at Prometheus, that had no basis in truth or fan sentiment. The disconnect from these films comes from their lack of identity. More than that, more than trying to understand what these new films are or aren’t about, the glaring issue is the simple fact that instead of these films being made with existing stories, they are cobbled together with a series of ideas. These ideas, however intriguing and holding merit, haven’t been enough to flesh out fully, a story that fans and audiences can invest in.
Make no mistake, however fickle fandom can be, and they can be, about so much, we are looking for a heart and a soul. The first two ALIEN films had the passion of filmmakers who were burning with stories to tell. These people had to work to get their visions created. We can still see that love and heart each time we put ALIEN, ALIENS and yes, even ALIEN 3, in our Blu ray players. Despite David Fincher’s traumatic ride on his vision of the film, what he birthed was a powerfully passionate end to a beloved character.
Our wish, as fans and audience members, is to have an ALIEN film made by a storyteller, a director burning with a fervor and desire to create a set of characters that we can believe in, dealing with circumstances they could never imagine. Instead of having ideas pitched for a new film, put out the word to directors like Christopher Nolan, Duncan Jones, Guillermo Del Toro, and others, asking them if they have a story they’d like to tell, and let them tell it.
It’s the only way.
The Fans and Audience of the ALIEN films.
This is a petition to 20th Century Fox to improve storytelling on future ALIEN films. This is a petition purely for the sake of awareness. We, as fans make no claim of entitlement, nor demands, or decrees. As people who are and have been invested over the course of many decades, we believe having our voices heard succinctly and accurately are paramount, as Fox (perhaps) moves forward with yet another Alien film.
We respect the filmmaking process. We honor, hold to be true, and are loyal to the legacy, started by Dan O’Bannon, as envisioned and executed by Ridley Scott and continued with James Cameron, and then finally, David Fincher.
This petition is not about reviving Ellen Ripley, it’s about discovering the story and themes that made ALIEN, ALIENS, and ALIEN 3 so monumental.
Today: ALIEN is counting on you
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