Now that Hollywood is back in business post the pandemic, previously delayed projects are finally back into production and/or entering other stages of development. The new Alien TV series for FX on Hulu, which was announced last year during Disney’s Investor Day presentation, is also in the works. But the most important thing is that we finally have an answer to the biggest query that fans of the franchise have had i.e., whether Sigourney Weaver’s iconic character, Ripley, will be seen in the series or not.
The new Alien tv series was announced on December 10, 2020, along with the confirmation that Noah Hawley (Fargo) and Ridley Scott are involved in its making. All that was known at the time was that unlike the four films in the franchise, the series will not take place on some distant planet or a spaceship and will instead unfold on Earth. But Hawley recently confirmed that this is not the only change that will set the show apart from the rest of the franchise as fans of Sigourney Weaver who were waiting for Ripley’s won’t be seeing the actress in the FX series.
Recently, Noah Hawley engaged in a lively chat with Vanity Fair to discuss Season 4 of Fargo and when asked whether Sigourney Weaver will be a part of the Alien tv series he is working on, he gave a clear answer- she is not. Unlike the films, the series won’t focus on Ripley’s story. He added that Ripley is one iconic character and her story has been told “pretty perfectly.” And by picking it apart once again, he doesn’t want to make a mess of it. For Hawley, the focus is on telling a story that is different from the trajectory the films had followed, which means original characters and the aliens wreaking havoc on Earth instead.
Sigourney Weaver first appeared as Ellen Louise Ripley, better known as Ripley, in 1979’s Alien directed by Ridley Scott. The film was the actress’s first lead role in a film and made her a star overnight, earning her many nominations including an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress, a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama, and a BAFTA Award for Best Leading Newcomer.
Sigourney Weaver’s journey throughout the Alien franchise is very interesting. Ripley is introduced in Alien as a warrant officer aboard the spaceship Nostromo, which is on its way from the planet Thedus to Earth. But when a monstrous creature infiltrates the ship, not only is Ripley the sole survivor but she also kills the alien. She repeats the feat once again in Alien (1986) when she succeeds in killing an Alien Queen by expelling her into space. The third Alien film saw Ripley discovering an alien embryo growing inside her and she sacrificed herself in hopes of killing the infant alien so it can’t be used for making biological weapons.
While Alien 3 bid a pretty finally looking farewell to Sigourney Weaver, 1997’s Alien Resurrection saw scientists creating a clone of Ripley 200 years after her death to get their hands on the alien embryo in her body. But Ripley kills the newborn alien and by the end of the film, she is on her way to Earth.
Given the open-ended conclusion with which Ripley’s story wrapped up and the confirmation that the new series will take place on Earth, it is understandable why fans were hopeful for Sigourney Weaver to be a part of the show. But guess now we will never know what happened to Ripley after all. *sigh*