Sigourney Weaver is a pioneer in science fiction cinema because of her iconic role as Ellen Ripley in the Alien films. She’s played Ripley in four Alien movies so far, and since the last of those – Alien Resurrection – came out in 1997, many fans assumed she was done with the character forever. But that might not be the case.
Last night, the L.A. Times’ Hero Complex Film Festival hosted back-to-back screenings of Alien and Aliens and Weaver joined the festivities for a Q&A session in between the films. I was lucky enough to be there, and I transcribed a lot of Weaver’s discussion about the Alien franchise, her thoughts on the character of Ripley, and more. I’ll have another piece or two with those details coming later today, but for now I wanted to focus on one of the more intriguing bits of conversation. When the topic turned to whether or not Weaver would ever consider reprising the Ripley role again, she was surprisingly open to the idea:
After going to a couple of these Comic-Cons and meeting fans who are so passionate about the series and passionate about Ripley, I do feel that there’s more story to tell. I don’t know how to do that. I don’t think Alien belongs on Earth popping out of a haystack or something, which is where I was afraid it was going to go – the French countryside, or something – but I feel it should take place in the far reaches of the universe where no one in their right mind would ever go. There are very few filmmakers I can think of that I would want to entrust this to, but I can think of a couple. I feel there’s a longing in certain groups of fans when I meet them for the story to be finished, because we sort of really left it up in the air and I feel a bit badly about that because I was part of that decision-making process. I didn’t want to make 4 and 5. I think it’s hard to make these all in a big jump, you know? You need time to sort of let things resonate. I can imagine a situation where we can at least finish telling her story. I think that would be very satisfying, at least to me. Although I haven’t done anything about it. But I can understand why that might happen and I certainly have met young filmmakers who are very interested in doing that so we’ll have to see what happens.
Moderator: Is that a conversation you’ve had with Mr. Cameron?
Mr. Cameron’s too busy on Avatar. But I think he’d be – it would really depend on the story and the script. I certainly think there’s something else to say about it and he would certainly be someone I would want to be in that conversation. But he’s too busy. I’m thinking, we always had some crazy young dude doing it – and it could be a woman, too – but anyway, some brilliant young filmmaker. We’ll see. It’s certainly not something that I think about too much, except when I see the movies, I go, ‘God, we’ve gotta finish this story.’
Studios are always looking for the next big “event movie,” and getting Weaver to don that iconic jumpsuit again would definitely fit the bill. This also isn’t the typical kind of, “oh sure, I guess” response you hear actors give when asked questions like this – it’s clear Weaver has put some real thought into it, and if the right script came along, it sounds like she’d absolutely be down to give some closure to her most famous on-screen character.
Do you want to see the return of Ripley? Let us know below!
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