Sigourney Weaver takes questions from fans and talks about the lasting significance of the "Alien" franchise at the fifth annual Hero Complex Film Festival. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)Link
Sigourney Weaver discusses the making of "Alien" with moderator Gina McIntyre at the fifth annual Hero Complex Film Festival. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angles Times)Link
Sigourney Weaver poses for photos at the fifth annual Hero Complex Film Festival. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)Link
Sigourney Weaver at the fifth annual Hero Complex Film Festival. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)Link
Sigourney Weaver was midway through praising her character of Ellen Ripley, her iconic role from the “Alien” franchise, whom she called “an existential hero” with a firm “moral compass,” when she alluded to a very popular discussion among fans.
“Had we done a fifth one, I don’t doubt that her humanity would have prevailed. … “I do feel like there is more story to tell.”
Weaver’s appearance capped off the fifth annual Hero Complex Film Festival at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood. The actress took the stage for an in-depth Q&A between screenings of Ridley Scott’s landmark 1979 science fiction film “Alien” and James Cameron’s 1986 sequel “Aliens.” (Cameron was a guest of honor at the festival on Saturday, on hand for a Q&A of his own between screenings of “The Terminator” and “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.”)
Weaver reminisced about her time as Ripley in the “Alien” movies, and went on to speculate what shape a possible fifth film could take, much to the delight of the rapt audience. The actress earned laughs when she said she didn’t think a new “Alien” sequel could take place on Earth, with the Alien “popping out of a haystack” somewhere in the “French countryside.”
“I feel a longing from fans for the story to be finished,” she said, adding, “I could imagine a situation where we finish telling the story.”
Weaver, who referred to “Alien” as “our little movie,” related many behind the scenes anecdotes from filming — including one involving the infamous “chest bursting scene,” as she called it, with John Hurt.
“We forgot that we were making a movie,” she said. “It was so real to us and convincing. I can’t believe two guys got under a table and made that happen.”
It was this sort of innovation and creativity in a pre-CGI world that Weaver credited with the lasting significance of the film. She paid tribute to the Swiss surrealist artist H.R. Giger, who died last month at age 74. His work served as a direct inspiration for the alien, and he worked as a special effects consultant on the film, which won an Oscar for its visual effects.
Weaver also said the film’s prescient politics were a big part of “Alien’s” lasting cultural relevance.
“A lot of corporations are still characterized by the same kind of greed [as the film's Weyland-Yutani],” she said. “It’s an idea that’s, unfortunately, very alive in our world.”
Check back soon to watch video from the conversation with Weaver and some of the other special guests from the weekend.
– Justin Sullivan | @LATHeroComplex