Back on Top After Alien Abduction
Jamie Portman - Calgary Herald
The news hit the Hollywood trade media a few
weeks ago: Sigourney Weaver had yielded to a salary offer so
huge she couldn't refuse it and had agreed to reprise the role
of Ripley, the intrepid monster-fighter, for a fifth Alien movie.
"If only that were true!" sighs Weaver. But it seems
the report had no basis in fact. "People are coming up to
me and saying: 'Hey, there's going to an Alien Five!' and I'm
saying, 'Hey, didn't you read the retraction?'"
So does that mean there will never be another Alien movie? Weaver
won't go that far, but she says if another one does happen, she
won't necessarily be involved, unless it meets her standards.
She knows when she starred in the first Alien for director Ridley
Scott back in 1979, her career received a major shot in the arm.
The downside was she risked being trapped in Ripley's identity,
especially after the release of two successful sequels - James
Cameron's 1986 Aliens and David Fincher's 1992 Alien 3. In fact,
she was releived when the third film effectively killed her off.
But in response to a public demand, Fox invoved the miracle of
DNA to bring a restored Ripley to the screen in the 1997 Alien
Resurrection. Despite the fact Weaver has demonstrated her versatility
as an actress both on stage and screen, she remains indelibly
identified with this character.
As a result, studio brass have to be constantly reminded of Weaver's
talents in other fields - for example, comedy. Weaver says MGM
needed a lot of persuading before it cast her as a resourceful
con artist in the current hit, Heartbreakers. What finally convinced
the studio was her recent science fiction spoof Galaxy Quest.
Weaver received a Golden Globe award and an Oscar nomination
13 years ao for her comic performance in Working Girl, but until
Galaxy Quest came along she had done nothing else in this genre.
When she was offered Heartbreakers, she felt she "had died
and gone to heaven because it was the kind of role I'd been trying
to get in Hollywood ever since the alien things started throwing
Still, she will always be greatful to the Alien movies. She also
believes the films represented a quality franchise, one she doesn't
want to see devalued. She was shocked to learn several years
ago Fox was contemplating creating an "Alien Versus Predator"
movie. "That I don't want to be in. That's why I died in
the first place, because I heard they were going to do exactly
that." Weaver, 51, hasn't slammed the door on an Alien Five.
But, she warns, "all the elements have to be right. If we
did another one, I would want it to be smaller and more character-driven."