Sigourney Weaver made her name as Ellen Ripley, when she starred in Ridley Scott‘s terrifying and groundbreaking Alien in 1977, going on to reprise the iconic role in the subsequent sequels, Aliens, Alien 3, and Alien Resurrection. And although nostalgia has been the flavour of the day, with veteran stars returning to their roots for one final goodbye, a return to the franchise isn’t something Weaver is particularly keen in.
Weaver earned herself a first Oscar nomination for her return in the role in Aliens, which saw James Cameron – with whom she would go on to work much more in future – take over the franchise and transition it from a quiet, psychological-style horror film into an all-out war between marines and Xenomorphs. The film saw Ripley as the sole survivor of the alien attack on her ship.
What Did She Have to Say About A Potential Return to Alien?
Admitting there was a time when she considered returning, in a proposed sequel – to be directed by Neill Blomkamp – which was originally announced in 2015, and tentatively scheduled for release in 2017, the project never got off the ground despite initial enthusiasm for it, and Weaver’s window closed. She’s been speaking to Total Film lately about her acting legacy and, while grateful for the opportunity to play Ripley, admits the time has come to close the door on the character:
There are all kinds of younger actors taking this kind of role. And there was an Alien [film] that I really wanted to do with Neill Blomkamp and we didn’t get to do that, but, you know, that ship has sailed. ’m very happy doing what I’m doing. I put in my time in space!
I think Ridley Scott has a lot to do with the longevity of Ellen Ripley and Alien.They made Ripley a woman, without making her this helpless creature. Because I think I was very lucky. These were men who were creating this woman character, but they liked and respected strong women.
Weaver may be done with her time in space, but her work on other franchises continues. She will continue to appear as Kiri, the Na’vi with a mysterious link to Weaver‘s original character, Dr Grace Augustine, in the upcoming Avatar 3 next year, and also reprised her role as Dana Barrett in 2021’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the sequel to which is currently being filmed in Manhattan.