¡Filmmakers: Fox wants you to pitch an ‘Alien’ short!


Fox wants a
wholly original story with
completely new characters
(that) draw on all the things
that made the original
“Alien” so groundbreaking.

How many times have you forked over hard cash to see an Alien sequel, hoping and praying that this would be the film to return the 20th Century Fox franchise back to the greatness of the first two films?

I know I have. It’s hard to believe it’s been 40 years since the first time the “chestburster” erupted from poor Kane’s (John Hurt) chest and wrecked havoc on the crew of the Nostromo. Then came James Cameron’s epic sequel, Aliens, which cemented Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley as a classic action hero.

Since then, we’ve had to suffer through the dismal Alien 3 where Ripley famously died, the strangely bad Alien 4, ridiculous Alien v Predator films, an alleged Alien film that became Prometheus and finally the thing last year called Alien: Covenant.

Oh Xenomorph how I yearn for your extending jaw.

And I’m not alone. Hope for a great Alien film has been gestating inside of geeks like a chestburster for years. Now, 20th Century Fox is offering amateur filmmakers that chance to right the series. As first reported in Screenrant, the studio has launched an Alien short film competition, in conjunction with crowdsourcing studio Tongal, to celebrate the Xenomoph’s 40th anniversary in 2019.

Now this is for the fans. See the tweet below:

Up to six fans will have the opportunity to make a five to nine-minute long short film set in the Alien universe and there is up to $246,000 in prizes. Tongal, located in Santa Monica, the company was founded in 2009 and maintains an online platform that connects businesses in need of creative work with an online community of writers, directors, and production companies.

The Tongal site states that, “Fox wants a wholly original story with completely new characters but your pitch should draw on all the things that made the original Alien so groundbreaking. The site goes on to list these things that make Alien unique to craft your pitch:

Slow, atmospheric buildups that isolated the viewer in the emptiness of space, anxiously waiting for something to jump from the darkness. In the school of Hitchcockian suspense, what isn’t seen is even scarier than what is!

The first true badass female protagonist in science fiction and horror. In defiance of orders, this powerful woman summoned immense strength and grit to face down the most primal of fears.

“Space truckers” – everyday working men and women waiting to talk about their bonus situations and tying the film to its realism and relatability.

We are looking first and foremost for great original short narrative stories told through your own unique creative lens. The winning Shorts will be released online to an intensely loyal and devoted Alien fan base.

There are also plenty of rules. Of course there are such as,

“Filmmakers are not allowed to use pre-existing characters or events from the Alien universe.”

“The winning short will be in the style and spirit of the original.”

“Pitches will only be accepted from U.S. residents.”

Anyone tempted by the competition better put their thinking caps on too; the deadline for the initial pitch is July 3. I know I’m pitching an idea or three. How about you? You can upload your pitch here.

Contact Colin Costello at colin@reelchicago.com or follow him on Twitter @colincostello10.