Nearly 40 years after the debut of Alien, the series is enjoying one of its most popular periods in pop culture, thanks to films like Prometheus and Alien: Covenant bringing it back to the spotlight, in addition to director Neill Blomkamp regularly discussing areas he'd like to take the franchise. Despite the franchise's popularity, the recent acquisition of 21st Century Fox by The Walt Disney Company puts the series' future in jeopardy, due to Disney's adherence to tamer fare, according to filmmaker Ridley Scott.
"It looks to me that the Fox deal is certainly going to go ahead with Disney, and I've been with Fox for a number years now," Scott told Digital Spy. "I'm hoping I'll still probably be there so whether or not they go ahead with such a dark subject, being Disney, as aliens remains to be seen."
Over the course of 10 films in the Alien franchise, only one was released with a PG-13 rating, which was AVP: Alien vs. Predator in 2004. With that film being one of the more poorly-received entries into the series, the embrace of horrific imagery appears to be an integral component of what makes the series a success.
It's easy to see why Scott might be disappointed that a series he helped create might have to compromise to meet ratings standards or potentially come to an end, but the filmmaker spoke highly of the decisions by both studios.
"I think it's great," he pointed out. "I think it's very good for Disney. Of all the studios they're far ahead of their game for having a prepared, thought through demographic for the kind of films they're making – for who they're making them for."
He added, "That's why they're so successful. And they draw the line at anything that crosses PG-13."
The filmmaker is well-aware of the complications of trying to make an R-rated horror film under the Disney label, but Scott isn't throwing in the towel just yet.
"I think they should because I think, when people have a hard and fast franchise which has ongoing interest, it's crazy not to do something with it," he explained. "[If] they find that they're so successful with that that they want to cross the line and do something a little darker, and if they do that, do they want to do that under Disney or do they want to do that under the Fox banner? I think there's a business plan afoot definitely."
Regardless of any business acquisitions, the fate of the Alien franchise is uncertain, due in large part to the underwhelming performances of both Prometheus and Alien: Covenant, with complaints being centered around neither of the films feeling similar to the 1979 original.
[H/T Digital Spy]