If you were to ask every fan of sci-fi cinema to list the genre’s ten most iconic characters, at least 99% of them would mention Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley. In fact, a lot of people thought that the Alien franchise couldn’t succeed without its legendary figurehead, and while they were definitely correct in the case of the Alien vs. Predator crossovers, Ridley Scott’s prequels Prometheus and Covenant still did a solid job in expanding the mythology.
Of course, Weaver was once poised to reprise her career-defining role in District 9 director Neill Blomkamp’s movie that would have disregarded the third and fourth installments to act as a direct sequel to James Cameron’s Aliens, with Michael Biehn also set to return as Hicks. The studio ultimately favored Scott’s vision in the end, though, causing the proposed Alien 5 to drift off into the vast abyss of development hell.
However, the rights to the franchise are now in the hands of Disney, and Scott admitted recently that another new entry in the long-running series was in the tentative early stages of development, presumably to be released under the Mouse House’s 20th Century Studios banner. Not only that, but insider Daniel Richtman is now claiming that Alien‘s new owners are also working on a separate spinoff focused on a young Ripley, which if true, may not go down too well with longtime fans.
After all, Weaver might be 71 years old, but she’s never definitively ruled herself out from making a comeback, and if Disney move forward on a project centered around the character that doesn’t involve the three-time Academy Award nominee in some capacity, then there’s going to be an uproar. That being said, Richtman did mention recently that the actress is indeed being eyed for a return in an upcoming Alien project, and while he notes that it’ll be someone else playing Ripley in this particular film as it’s set to be a prequel, the Ghostbusters star doesn’t seem to be done with the franchise just yet. Of course, it remains unclear which movie Weaver could show up in, but perhaps it’s the one that Scott’s got in the works?