The following was written for Flickering Myth
Henry Bevan with an open letter to David Fincher…
I’m going to jump right into it: you should consider lobbying to direct the next Alien movie, whatever it may be.
Don’t stop reading! I know your last experience of the franchise on Alien 3 was a clusterfuck and you felt your career was being torn to shreds like Bishop at the end of Aliens. I understand why you look like you’ve suffered a death in the family every time someone mentions it to you, and I believe you when you say no one hates that film more than you. I get the pain, David. I. Get. It.
The experience made you develop a distaste for franchise blockbusters, it seemed you would never jump into something with prescribed expectations for success again. That was until you signed up for World War Z 2 (please change the title). Now, your buddy Brad felt he owed you for letting him crash on your couch or maybe you’re getting fed up with Netflix or maybe you’ve seen Christopher Nolan, Alfonso Cuaron and Sam Mendes’ success in the blockbuster sandpit and want to join in. Whatever the reason, a David Fincher franchise film sounds exciting, and no, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo doesn’t count as a mega-franchise. It’s too small and too weird a source-material to count.
SEE ALSO: In Defense of Alien 3
So, why not return to the Alien-verse or whatever this six-film franchise will eventually be called. See, David, your nihilistic style, gleeful trigger finger and your ability to use some pulpy material to explore powerful themes are suited for the sordid space corridors the aliens stalk. You’re the guy who turned what could have been a cliche serial killer drama into a compelling rumination on evil.
Now, I know you’re going to say you’ve been to this world before and it didn’t go well. But, that was a debuting David, and it probably taught you the most important lesson of your career. You’ve pretty much said so yourself, stating it destroyed your naivety, turned you into the infamous perfectionist and “belligerent asshole” we love today. You learned you had “to fight for the things you believe in, and you have to be smart about how you position it so that you don’t just become white noise”. Without that lesson, you wouldn’t have made The Game, Panic Room or The Social Network. For the David of today to return to the franchise that gave him his biggest lesson would be too enticing a prospect to pass up. Hollywood loves a story, and you overcoming your beef to deliver another one of your masterpieces is definitely a rich one.
Of course, this all depends on your view of what Sir Ridley Scott is doing with the franchise. Alien: Covenant has been divisive with this website both loving and loathing it. Scott is doing what he wants and that must be celebrated, but the film struggles against the franchise’s history. Basically, all future Alien movies can never escape the shadow of Alien and Aliens. Scott is sorta right when he says it felt it was “cooked”. The ending of Aliens is too complete. Ripley has overcome her PTSD caused by the first film and is now moving forward with her adoption of Newt. Alien 3 didn’t stand a chance because it must begin with a contrived plot point.
But, Scott still proves there is life left in the franchise. The sharper focus on the androids pushes the franchise forward and Scott proves there are still inventive ways to kill people. Also, you’ll like this David, he has the aliens burst out of any orifice and we know you can never miss up an opportunity to wreck the beautiful visages of film stars.
So, David, whatcha think?