It grossed $172 million dollars at the box office and spawned a sequel, but 2004 sci-fi crossover Alien vs Predator wasn’t exactly a hit with fans and critics – and it turns out Alien heroine Sigourney Weaver was among the disappointed.
When asked at London Film and Comic Con today if it was her choice to have her character Ripley killed off in Alien 3, the actress replied: “Well, yes – because I heard that Fox was gonna do Alien vs Predator. Which really depressed me because I was very proud of the movies.”
Directed by Paul WS Anderson, the film pitted the eponymous xenomorph monster from the Alien series against Predator, an extraterrestrial bounty-hunter who first appeared in a 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger movie (also called Predator). The only actor to appear from either franchise in the film was Lance Henrikson, who portrayed android Bishop in Aliens and Alien 3.
“I’ve nothing against building a movie on a video game but at the time, it was, as [Aliens director] Jim Cameron said I think publically, ‘why would you want to do that?'" Weaver recalled. "It’s like making Alien meets the Wolfman.”
The actress also said that the crossover deterred franchise creator Ridley Scott from making another movie.
“In fact Ridley Scott was about to direct a third one, until this was announced, and he dropped out,” she said, “because he also wanted to do an Alien sequel.”
That job was instead taken by David Fincher, with a fourth Alien film (Alien: Resurrection) directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, and Scott only returning to the world he created for 2012’s prequel Prometheus. “I think it caused more problems than it was worth,” Weaver concluded.
The actress was considerably more enthusiastic about a future addition to the Alien series, namely Neill Blomkamp’s untitled sequel/reboot for which concept art was leaked earlier this year.
“I’m so excited about Neill – because Neill is like you guys!” she told the Comic-Con crowd. “He broke the tapes of these movies when he was a kid, he watched them so much.”
“I love the fact that’s Neill’s fulfilling his childhood dream of what he hopes will be the popcorn movie, the Alien popcorn movie that he wanted as a kid to see.”
Weaver as Ripley in 1992's Alien 3
It hasn't been officially confirmed Weaver will be returning for Blomkamp’s film, but she implied she'd be involved when a fan asked if Ripley could get a happy ending in the new movie.
“Well – it’s certainly something we’ve discussed,” she replied. “I agree, she’s had kind of a crap life. Many interruptions.”
Of course, Weaver also starred in another 1980s classic that’s now getting a follow-up; Ghostbusters, the female reboot of which is currently filming (with its character’s names released by director Paul Feig today). And the new film’s creators were kind enough to give the bustin’ alumnus a quick peek at the new adventure.
“It’s a wonderful script,” Weaver said. “The women are gonna do an awesome job. I know that Ivan Reitman is co-producing it.”
“I hear rumours that Danny [Ackroyd] is also gonna do a script… so I think whatever happens, we’re in for a treat. I can’t wait to see the ladies do their thing.”
Ghostbusters will be released in UK cinemas on 15th July 2016