The Best Sigourney Weaver Alien Moment Happens In The Worst Movie Of The Entire Franchise

By Zack Zagranis | Published

sigourney weaver alien resurrection

Many Alien fans consider Resurrection (1997) to be the worst entry in the series. From Joss Whedon’s quippy script to the baby Xenomorph/Human hybrid creature with the digitally removed genitalia, the film is kind of a mess.

Despite being all around horrible the movie does feature the coolest Sigourney Weaver stunt in any Alien movie: an over-the-shoulder half-court basketball shot, nothing but net.

Check out the best moment from the Aliens franchise. This is a true winner.

The shot, which is in the finished film, was entirely practical and a result of weeks of practice from Weaver. The actress was confident she could sink the shot and convinced director Jean-Pierre Jeunet to let her try. The director, who initially wanted to use either cutaways or a CGI ball, let Weaver do it herself, and the result was pure magic.

Sigourney Weaver was confident she could sink the shot

Sigourney Weaver making a basket from the half-court line without looking was so impressive that the one-in-a-million shot was almost ruined by the reaction of everyone else on the Alien Resurrection set. Specifically co-star Ron Perlman. Perlman, who was playing a gruff mercenary, broke character and smiled when he saw the basket, almost rendering the shot unusable.

Thankfully, the film’s editors were able to save the footage and make it work within the framework of the finished film. Unfortunatley, even that wasn’t enough to convince the director to use the shot in the film.

Jean-Pierre Jeunet was convinced that since the ball briefly leaves the frame, viewers would assume it was faked after all. There was no way Sigourney Weaver was going to let all her hard work go to waste, however, and she insisted Jeunet keep her miracle throw in Alien Resurrection.

Weirdly enough, there was precedent for Weaver’s impossible basketball shot. A year earlier, Kurt Russell did something similar during the production of Escape from L.A., the sequel to the cult classic Escape from New York.

The Alien Resurrection editors were able to save the footage and make it work within the framework of the finished film.

In the scene, Russell’s character, Snake Plisken, is captured and forced to sink a bunch of free throws on an empty basketball court, or else he will be killed. For the last shot of the scene, Russell makes a full-court throw that he nails for real.

Russell’s shot wasn’t behind his back, but the added distance made it an equally impressive basket to land. If we had a nickel for every time a crappy sequel to a sci-fi classic featured a scene where the protagonist made an impossible basket, and the actor actually made the shot in real life, we’d have two nickels. Which isn’t a lot, but it’s weird that it happened twice.

sigourney weaver

While Sigourney Weaver may have acted out many more impactful or dramatic scenes throughout the four Alien films in which she played Ellen Ripley, none were as physically impressive as that magic basketball throw. It’s just too bad that such a cool scene had to be a part of such a suck-tastic movie. If you think we’re being too harsh, go watch Alien Resurrection and get back to us.

The only things Resurrection has going for it are the over-the-shoulder, once-in-a-lifetime basketball toss and the fact that it isn’t Prometheus.