It’s very telling how little Neill Blomkamp is talking about Chappie and how much time he’s spent talking about his Alien concept during press rounds—like a magician performing a little bit of misdirection. Following the official announcement that Blomkamp is indeed working on a new Alien installment for Fox, the director and Sigourney Weaver have both been very talkative about the project, revealing that this new film takes place between the first two. The latest update from Blomkamp hints that his Alien movie might actually be two movies.

This story really just keeps getting bigger and bigger, like a lie that keeps snowballing—except, you know, this is a thing that’s really happening. In his new interview with Empire, Blomkamp is talking about Alien (again), how surprised he was that Sigourney Weaver wanted to do it, and how his new installment might really be two installments:

If you go back even three or four years, I’ve wanted to make a film in that genre, in that franchise. I’d come up with an idea, and when I met Sigourney (Weaver) on the set of Chappie, I presumed that she would never want to play Ripley again. Rightly or wrongly, I had that in my head. I also didn’t know where you could go with her, given Alien 3 and 4. So when I started speaking to her, I just wanted to know more about the process of making the first two films. The first two are the ones that I care about. Then I started to realise there was a whole film – at least a film, if not more – that still contained Ripley, which I was really surprised by.

Blomkamp reiterates that his film isn’t concerned with Alien 3 or Resurrection, although he’s previously assured fans that he’s not ignoring them entirely—it’s just that his film takes place between the first two films.

Meanwhile, Chappie is in theaters now and hasn’t been earning the most positive of reviews, with our own Matt Singer noting in his review that he “would be more inclined to give Blomkamp the benefit of the doubt if he didn’t turn his smart ideas into such dumb movies.”

Blomkamp has great ideas and concepts, but he has a hard time combining them with a strong story and themes. I continue to hope against all hopes that Blomkamp will hire a very talented writer to take on this Alien story, if only because I want to remain optimistic. His concept art was so interesting! But then again, all of his concepts are.