Want to direct the next installment of a legendary sci-fi movie franchise? Just post some cool concept art of your fantasy project to social media, wait a few weeks, and voila. You’re directing the next Alien movie.
At least that’s how it seems to have worked for Neill Blomkamp. The South African director of District 9 and the upcoming robot flick Chappie began to post concept art for an Alien sequel on Instagram in January. He had been unofficially working on the project, he said, but he put it aside, lamenting that it “woulda rocked.” Yesterday, his dreams came true.
Blomkamp announced on Instagram that he actually will direct the next Alien movie, and soon after, Variety reported that sources at 20th Century Fox confirmed it. Quartz has reached out to the studio and to Blomkamp, and will update this post if we hear back.
It’s entirely possible that Blomkamp’s Insta-spree was actually a marketing campaign to drum up buzz for the movie. But let’s choose to be less cynical and believe that his social media lobbying actually helped convince 20th Century Fox to put him in the director’s seat and move forward with the project. (Besides, an Alien sequel does not need any help generating buzz.)
Earlier this month, Blomkamp told Collider that he worked on the project completely in his spare time, without any input from the studio. “I came up with the story, I came up with way more art than I put out and I never officially spoke to Fox about it, but Fox wanted to make it,” he said.
Fox will still move forward with Ridley Scott’s sequel to Prometheus (the 2012 prequel to his original Alien film), Variety reports. It’s unclear when or where exactly Blomkamp’s movie will take place within the Alien universe, but it may bring back Sigourney Weaver: The star of the original Alien films, who’s also in Blomkamp’s Chappie, to be released March 6, told the talk show host Jimmy Fallon that she has been talking to Blomkamp about that possibility.
Here are the images Blomkamp put on Instagram, which may or may not have landed him the gig.