Three Sequels That Almost Happened: ‘Alien 5’, ‘Catwoman’, and ‘Escape From Earth’

Sequels for popular characters were in development until Hollywood decided against new adventures for Ellen Ripley, Selina Kyle, and Snake Plissken. What did Neil Blomkamp, Tim Burton, and John Carpenter have in mind for these fan favorites? What awaited Ripley after putting Newt to sleep at the end of Aliens? Where would Catwoman go after Batman Returns? What was Snake’s next destination once he turned off all technology at the end of Escape From L.A.? Each movie promised an exciting sequel adventure for our heroes.

Sigourney Weaver and the cast of 'Aliens' looking at the camera.
Sigourney Weaver | Photo by Bob Penn/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images

Neil Blomkamp’s ‘Alien 5’ sequel would have followed Ripley after James Cameron’s classic ‘Aliens’

According to John Hull’s Underexposed, Blomkamp worked on a story set after Cameron’s classic action movie Aliens. It centered on Ellen Ripley and might have featured her in a Xenomorph suit. Also known as Alien: Xeno, the story ignored the depressing events of Alien 3 and brought back Michael Biehn’s Hicks and Lance Henriksen’s Bishop. Blomkamp discussed ideas while working with Sigourney Weaver on Chappie.   

So, what happened? The original creator Ridley Scott had already made Prometheus and wanted to continue exploring the world of the Xenomorph. 20th Century Fox favored Scott, who made Alien: Covenant. Meanwhile, Chappie was released and became a box office flop. Scott has yet to make a third prequel that could link back to his original Alien movie.  

Tim Burton’s ‘Catwoman’ would have been very different than the Halle Berry version

Michelle Pfeiffer’s performance as Selina Kyle/Catwoman in Batman Returns remains a highlight of the Batman movies. She was bad, slinky, mischievous, and good all at the same time. Replacing a pregnant Annette Bening, Pfeiffer brought physical energy and emotional vulnerability that has come to define the role.

In Burton’s proposed Catwoman sequel, Selina wakes up with amnesia in a desert resort town. The Cult of Good is a group of superheroes more interested in selling action figures than stopping crime. Selena discovers that the Cult of Good creates the very crime they fight to benefit them financially and get adoration from the public. Selina regains her memory and her Catwoman costume. Eventually, she inspires copycats in organizing a team to take down the Cult of Good.  

Daniel Waters’ Catwoman script was delivered at the same time Batman Forever opened in theaters and became a box office hit in 1995. The bright neon Gotham featured in Joel Schumacher’s movie was in sharp contrast to Burton’s gothic world and Waters’ dark story. So, Catwoman’s sequel was declawed. In 2004, Catwoman finally got her movie starring Halle Berry. The less said, the better. In 2012, Anne Hathaway played a more realistic version of Catwoman in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises.

John Carpenter’s ‘Escape From Earth’ sent Snake Plissken to outer space

Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken is the essence of cool. He is one of the most popular anti-heroes ever created for the big screen. At the end of Escape from L.A., Snake knocked out all technology. “Welcome to the human race” were his final words. In the proposed Escape From Earth sequel, Plissken is transported to a remote mining town on Mars where presumably he would have had to rescue someone.

Unfortunately, Escape from L.A. did not perform well at the box office and audiences never got the chance to see Russell in his leather outfit once more. Carpenter ended up making Ghosts of Mars, which could have been Escape from Mars. Many actors have been rumored to take over the role, including Gerard Butler and Josh Brolin, but Russell’s boots are big ones to fill. It turns out making a sequel to a popular movie is harder than battling aliens, fighting a Catwoman, and escaping from Hollywood.

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