Alien: Romulus Director Had An 'Extensive' Phone Call With James Cameron. Here's Why I’m Fanboying

 Cailee Spaeny looks terrified while holding a pulse rifle in an empty hallway in Alien: Romulus.
Cailee Spaeny looks terrified while holding a pulse rifle in an empty hallway in Alien: Romulus.

In a move that will undoubtedly have fans of one of the best horror movie franchises, Alien, so excited their chests might burst, the director of the upcoming Alien: Romulus, Fede Álvarez, and his co-writer Rodo Sayagues revealed they spent several hours consulting with none other than James Cameron. Cameron, who directed the iconic 1986 film Aliens—arguably one of the best movies of the 80s and easily the best of the sequels—engaged in a detailed discussion that even covered specifics like the size of the engines on the film’s ships. As a die-hard fan of this sci-fi horror movie series, I’m here to explain why this development has me absolutely fanboying over the forthcoming flick.

What Álvarez And Cameron Spoke About in Their Meeting of Minds

Fede Álvarez, known for his work on Evil Dead and Don't Breathe, along with his writing partner Rodo Sayagues, recently revealed to Total Film that they had an "extensive" phone call with the Avatar creator. During this conversation, James shared his invaluable insights on the universe. The level of detail discussed was extraordinary, with the Terminator creator and Fede diving into minutiae, such as the dimensions of spaceship engines. The filmmaker recounted:

At the end of the phone call, he thanked us for letting him brainstorm with us, which I found hilarious. I was like, 'You don’t have to thank us; it’s the best day ever for us!'

This interaction alone is a testament to the dedication and passion filmmakers are pouring into the next chapter in the sci-fi saga.

Sigourney Weaver in Aliens
Sigourney Weaver in Aliens

How Filmmakers Plan To Bridge the Gap Between The First Two Movies

The newest installment in the franchise, Alien: Romulus, is set to take place between the 1978 original and its sequel. This setting positions the film in a unique spot within the timeline, allowing it to pay homage to both Ridley Scott’s atmospheric horror masterpiece and James Cameron’s action-packed follow-up. Álvarez and Sayagues have promised that Romulus won't mess up with the series’ official timeline but will embody the essence of both films. He explained:

The environments, and the pace of it as well – it’s more similar to Alien for quite a bit. And then gradually – you won’t even know – you feel like it’s more Aliens. It’s a natural progression, and it happens effortlessly.

Why I’m Fanboying Over the Cameron Phone Call

Aliens is widely regarded as one of the best–if not the best–movies in the franchise. The True Lies helmer's contribution to the lore, including the introduction of the Alien Queen and the expansion of the intricate Xenomorph mythology and lifecycle, has had a lasting impact on the series. His willingness to spend hours consulting on Romulus is a promising sign that this new film will honor the legacy of its predecessors.

The idea of a film that bridges the gap between the slow-burning horror of the first movie before moving into the more explosive action the sequel is known for is thrilling. This approach respects the roots of the franchise and promises a fresh, dynamic experience for both old fans and new audiences and fans of both of the best-ranked films in the series.

As someone who has watched Aliens more times than I can count, the prospect of Álvarez and Sayagues incorporating Cameron’s guidance into their film is exhilarating. Knowing that the man who set the standard for the Alien series and who cemented some of the longest-running and most beloved Xenomorph lore is actively contributing to its next chapter, even if only an hours-long phone call, gives me immense hope for Alien: Romulus and the future of the franchise.

Alien: Romulus is on track to become a worthy addition to the beloved sci-fi saga when it bursts onto the 2024 movie schedule, releasing in theaters on August 16. And for that reason, I’m fanboying hard.