Twenty five years ago yesterday, James Cameron's "Aliens" hit screens and turned Ridley Scott's suspenseful sci-fi horror, "Alien," into more of an action sci-fi classic. They're polar opposite films, really, at least in tone and mood, but Cameron's film is arguably on-par and one of the best genre sequels of all time (we really like this take of calling it an "ode to motherhood" which is true given all the connections, though we're not sure Cameron himself saw it quite like that, but maybe we're not giving him enough credit).
With the 25th anniversary of the film hitting yesterday, Ripley herself, Sigourney Weaver did some brief press rounds discussing her now-iconic character -- one of the most unlikely, and yet best "action" and genre female leads ever (Angelina Jolie take note) -- the franchise's legacy and her feelings that Ripley's story is unfinished.
At one point, before Ridley Scott's "Prometheus," there were plans for an "Alien 5" that would show the xenomorphs finally coming to earth. Scott had hoped to direct and have one last chance to reunite with Weaver on this character. But then the cheap "Alien Vs. Predator" film came along, essentially stole this idea and Scott pretty much closed the book on that final Ripley chapter. Asked if she would have liked to revisit the character again, Weaver said one last shot at the character would have been ideal, but at 61 years of age, she knows her days as an action heroine are over.
"I doubt it just because the way the industry is. While I can't speak for them, I think for Fox, once you're sixty, you're not going to be starring in an action movie," she told Moviefone. "I think it's too bad that that's the case. I would have liked to do one last story where we go back to the planet, where Ripley's history is resolved. But I do feel like her story is unfinished."
"I love the way the story has evolved, that every few years there's another voyage into that universe with another wonderful young director. And certainly I'm blessed with lots of different wonderful jobs, so I'm not sitting at home ruminating about all of that. If I was really caught up in it, I would find a logical story and try to get them behind it, but she may just be left circling earth. I could definitely kick that alien's ass again. [Ripley]'s a smart hero, it's the way she thinks, but just looking at the way the business is..."
It's sad, but true. With "Alien: Resurrection," we likely got our last look at Ellen Ripley via Sigourney Weaver, but let's not be naive. Ripley is now an iconic franchise character and studios no longer let brands collect dust. Give it a few years and/or see if "Prometheus" can spin-off a whole new mythology, but who's to say, 20th Century Fox can't reboot the entire story with a younger actress in a few years and either tell more Ripley tales and or do right by the character and finally give her the "Aliens 5" conclusion she deserves. Arguably, Fox doesn't need Ripley. They have the xenomorphs and any band of misfit space explorers could stumble upon them in any galaxy...