With the Alien franchise now under Disney’s command after the 20th Century Fox merger, there’s clearly a future for the legendary sci-fi saga – it just remains unclear what exactly that future is. While Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant invited a potential third instalment in his Prometheus quasi-prequel series, there’s long been talk of a fifth film centred on Sigourney Weaver’s iconic Ellen Ripley – including a proposed story from District 9’s Neill Blomkamp.
Speaking to Empire in the new Heroes Issue – on sale now – Weaver revealed that she received a 50-page treatment from Alien franchise producer Walter Hill around a year and a half ago for a different take on a fifth Ripley film, which came about in the aftermath of Blomkamp’s project falling through – though she’s ultimately not sure the future of Alien rests in the revival of that legendary character. “I don’t know,” she said. “Ridley has gone in a different direction. Maybe Ripley has done her bit. She deserves a rest.”
Talking through Ripley’s role in each of the original four Alien films in the interview, Weaver says still has a lot of affection for the beloved role. “I’ve always felt she was such a partner,” she says. “She is always in my stomach.” She recently came across some photos from production on Scott’s original film while cleaning her apartment. “Me with the special effects guys,” she laughed. “I’d be hanging up in the air and they would pipe me tea laced with rum to keep me going, without my asking for it! I was part of the crew, and that was something I loved. I wasn’t dressed in some little dolly dress, trying to keep clean. I was in jumpsuits looking like a grease monkey in the trenches with the crew.”
It remains to be seen exactly what Disney chooses to do with Alien going forward – Scott himself recently spoke about the franchise needing to “re-evolve”, though it would be fascinating to find out what happens after Covenant’s tantalising cliffhanger.