What does the future hold for Ripley? A major change to her past.
And we also may learn more about the aliens she has been battling all these years.
Last week, as part of the announcement about the Aliens 30th reunion that will happen at San Diego Comic-Con, Sigourney Weaver spoke about plans for yet another film in the franchise, confirming it would disrupt the timeline of the other four films by picking up after the events of the second movie.
District 9 filmmaker Neill Blomkamp was working on the project, but Fox put it on hold while Ridley Scott, director of the original 1979 Alien, finishes his sequel to 2012’s Prometheus – now called Alien: Covenant, a second prequel to that first film. (Now there’s a sentence that’ll disrupt your timeline.)
Weaver is deeply committed to Blomkamp’s film, and after facing down so many Xenomorphs and facehuggers, she’s fearless in her assessment of the franchise. Here’s what else she had to say about Ripley’s next appearance:
“Well, we have a great script. Fox asked us to delay so Ridley Scott could shoot his [second] Prometheus movie. That was too bad because we would have already done it by now,” she says.
Scott’s film is shooting now and comes out in August 2017, but that doesn’t mean Blomkamp’s Aliens follow-up will start right away. “Now that we’re waiting for that, I have a couple of Avatars to do and Neill has The Gone World,” Weaver says. “So we’ll have to see what happens when we get back, when those projects are over.”
Either way, she sounds determined to revisit Ellen Ripley. “It’s a great story and it’s satisfying to me to give this woman an ending,” Weaver says, which makes it sound like this would be her final go-round as the character. That means resolution — not that Ripley will necessarily die. (Note that she’s died before, and that obviously didn’t end anything.)
Weaver also suggested Blomkamp’s Aliens sequel will delve into the motivation of the aliens themselves, exploring what it is their race has been seeking. “The script itself has so much in it that’s so original, but also really satisfies the, I would say, the primal needs of the aliens,” Weaver says. “It’s a tribute to all of the great work that the other directors have done, in a way, but goes in a completely new direction. I hope we’ll do it.”
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After teaming up on 2014’s Chappie, Weaver also seems eager to join forces again with Blomkamp. “We’ve just finished something else together that I can’t talk about, but you know, I hope so,” she says. “But you never know in this crazy business. In any case, [the Aliens sequel] there and waiting for us. He and I both have these other commitments that are finally upon us, and so we’ve got to switch gears and concentrate on that. But it will be worth the wait when we finally get to it.”
There’s no doubt whatsoever — if the movie happens, it will redirect the story from the third and forth installments, David Fincher’s Alien3 1992) and Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Alien: Resurrection (1997).
“It’s just as if, you know, the path forks and one direction goes off to three and four and another direction goes off to Neill’s movie,” Weaver says. “It’s just more, I would say, following Jim Cameron’s story about these characters, rather than just ending up in this sort of monastery in space, which was [Alien3 screenwriter] Vincent Ward’s idea and Fox elected to go in that direction. I think Fincher was fine with that. Each director kind of wanted to create a whole new set of circumstances. In this case, it picks up, it follows directly the circumstances of Jim Cameron’s Aliens.”
For those looking forward to seeing that story realized in a few years, Weaver has encouraging words.
“I hope it won’t be a few. I hope it’ll be a couple. But we’ll see. Yeah.”
If you want to offer up your own Aliens question, tweet @Breznican, who’ll be moderating the Comic-Con panel.
And check out EW.com soon for an oral history from Weaver, Cameron, and Aliens producer Gale Anne Hurd about their memories of that final battle between Power-Loader Ripley and the Alien Queen.