The existence of Blomkamp’s Alien was always strongly predicated on Fox shrugging and letting the District 9 director do whatever he wanted to do with the fallow franchise. But even as “letting Neill Blomkamp do whatever he wants to do” has grown steadily less profitable—as per the box office results and critical yawns that greeted Elysium and Chappie—Ridley Scott’s investment in his own Alien projects has grown. (Also: The Martian just made a big bundle of cash for its distributors at Fox.) And so, Blomkamp must wave goodbye to his beloved “xeno- and Lt ripley,” putting them away until Ridley Scott is done playing with his toys, and Blomkamp is allowed to pick them up and smash them against each other once again.

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