Walter Hill’s Unmade Alien 5 is the series’ biggest missed opportunity | Pretty Reel

Director Walter Hill has confirmed that his script for Alien 5 featuring the return of Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley isn’t happening at Disney, which is arguably the franchise’s biggest missed opportunity. Hill began his career as a screenwriter for films like Sam Peckinpah’s The Getaway, before breaking into directing with The Driver, The Warriors and 48 Hrs. Hill had a solid string of films throughout the 80s and 90s, with his next project being Western Dead For A Dollar, starring Christoph Waltz, Willem Dafoe and Rachel Brosnahan.

Hill is also a prolific producer, and it was he who discovered the script for Alien, then titled Starbeast. He didn’t particularly like Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett’s script, but he knew Alien’s infamous Chestburster sequence would be amazing with the right execution. He and his producing partner David Giler rewrote the script – which involved casting Ripley’s character as a woman instead of a man – and it became a landmark success. Hill and Giler went on to produce Aliens and Alien 3, although after the latter’s disastrous production they both walked away from future sequels.

While they’re still credited on later sequels — and Michael Fassbender’s Covenant androids Walter and David are named in their honor — they were in name credits only. In 2020, it was revealed that Hill had written an Alien 5 script with Giler – who has since died – which would have served as Weaver’s Ripley ending. Speaking to SyFy Wire, he said it would “…tell a story that will scare your date, kick a new Xenomorph’s ass, and lead a meditation on both the Alien franchise universe and fate.” of the character of Lieutenant Ellen Ripley.’ Hill finally confirmed in 2022 that the film wasn’t happening because Disney – which just bought Fox – had no interest in pursuing it. Ripley’s story with some dignity.

Hill could have ended Ripley’s story in style

While Ripley died in Alien 3, the character’s last canonical appearance was the 1997 sequel Resurrection. It ended with a clone of Ripley returning to a ruined future version of Earth, but neither the movie nor its ending deserved the franchise. Of Ripley’s four Alien movies, Joss Whedon’s Resurrection is by far the weakest. There have been many attempts to bring Weaver back for Alien 5 in the decades since, with Neill Blomkamp’s effort being the most publicized. It would have not only brought back Ripley, but also Michael Biehn’s Hicks and Newt, suggesting that Alien 3 and 4 didn’t happen.

While promising, Blomkamp’s Alien 5 felt like a nostalgic sequel to Aliens, rather than an attempt to reinvent or add something new to the series. Whatever their flaws, the Ripley movies have always strived to do something unique with every entry, and they’ve all hired visionary filmmakers with unique visions for that reason. Hill’s Alien 5’s story has yet to be revealed, but it’s highly unlikely that it simply rehashed plot elements from the original movies and tried to close Ripley’s story with some emotional weight.

Weaver always praised Hill and Giler’s writing for Ripley, and insisted that they try to write Alien 3 because other writers made the character sound like “rabid gym teacher”. It’s unclear if Hill was also planning on directing his Alien 5 script, but he and Giler were the main reasons the original films succeeded, and having them close the book on the franchise’s most iconic figure is a great opportunity. missed. It’s not too late for Disney to reconsider, of course, but with Fede Alvarez currently working on the next episode of Alien, that won’t be happening anytime soon.

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Walter Hill’s Unmade Alien 5 is the series’ biggest missed opportunity | Pretty Reel

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