Alien #12 – Reggie’s Take Movie Franchise Countdown
The Alien franchise consists of four movies that focuses on the exploits of Lieutenant Ellen Ripley and her encounters with an extraterrestrial life form referred to as “the Alien” and it comes in at number 12 on my movie franchise countdown.
Directed by Ridley Scott, Alien was released in 1979. The original script had an all male crew; even Ripley was to be male, who was to be played by Tom Skerritt. Veronica Cartwright was cast for the role of Ripley after the producers heard rumors of Fox working on other movies with strong female leads.
Cartwright was later replaced with Sigourney Weaver after Ridley Scott viewed screen tests. Cartwright was put in the role of Navigator Lambert who would be the final crewmember to be killed. Tom Skerritt would become Captain Dallas.
Ridley Scott’s Alien film was considered successful, but FOX didn’t even consider a sequel to the movie until James Cameron expressed intrests in continuing the Alien story. After Cameron’s Terminator movie became a hit at the theaters in 1984, Cameron was given the go ahead direct the sequel.
Aliens script was given a war tone to contrast the horror theme of the original Alien movie. Drawing inspiration from the Vietnam War the space marines are portrayed as cocky and over confident in their inevitable victory, but when they find themselves facing a more determined enemy, the outcome does not go their way.
Aliens was released to theaters in the U.S. on July 18, 1986 and was the number one movie for the first four weeks of its release. It would go on to be the seventh highest-grossing film of 1986 and to this day is still considered one of the best action movies of all times.
Alien 3 the third film in the Alien franchise was released in 1992 taking place after the events of Aliens. Sigourney Weaver was not interested in returning to the franchise so the producers commissioned a script without the character of Ripley. FOX was not happy with the idea of no Ripley and Weaver was offered a $5 million salary and a producer credit in order get her to return for Alien 3.
Alien 3 was not well received by fans or critics, but did well enough in its worldwide box office for FOX to continue the franchise in 1997 with Alien Resurrection. The character of Ripley was not in the script’s first draft and once again Sigourney Weaver was not interested in returning to the role. Sigourney would later join the film after being given more creative control and a reported $11 million salary.
Alien: Resurrection was released on November 26, 1997. Set 200 years after Alien 3, Ellen Ripley is cloned and an Alien queen is surgically removed from her body. The United Systems Military hopes to breed Aliens in order to study and research them using human hosts kidnapped and delivered to them.
Alien: Resurrection grossed only $47.7 million in the U.S. becoming the least successful of the Alien movies. Overseas though the movie grossed $113.5 million giving “Resurrection” a $161.2 million world wide box office total for 1997. Receiving mixed reviews from the critics it was regarded as a slight improvement over Alien 3.
The Alien movies are a one of a kind sci-fi horror franchise. Sigourney Weaver is to the “Alien” movies as Arnold Schwarzenegger is to the “Terminator” role. Their have been other attempts to continue the “Alien” story line, but with not as much success with the exception of “Prometheus”. The Alien movies, especially Aliens will be a part of any movie lover’s collection for years if not decades to come.
On its way back to Earth, the US commercial starship Nostromo is diverted to a desolate planetoid after receiving a cryptic signal from a derelict alien spacecraft. While exploring the alien ship, one of the Nostromo ’s crewmen discovers the remains of the ship’s pilot and also a large chamber that contains thousands of egg-like objects. One of the eggs releases a creature that attaches itself to his face and renders him unconscious.
They break quarantine to bring him back aboard the ship, the parasite dies and the host wakes up, seemingly fine. Soon afterwards, an alien organism bursts out of his chest and grows extremely rapidly into a terrifying eight-foot tall creature, and starts killing off the crew one by one.
Ellen Ripley, the sole survivor of the alien attack on the mining ship Nostromo, awakens half a century later when she is found by a salvage ship. The welcome given to her by the “Company” officials is far from warm, since they refuse to believe her discovery of alien existence and strip her off her flight officer’s license. Ripley also discovers, much to her horror, that the planet LV-426 where her crew had encountered an alien species for the first time, is now colonized by the company.
When all contact from the planet is lost Ripley is called back into action again as an advisor to a team of tough space marines with lots of firepower. To get rid of her recurrent nightmares about the alien creature, Ripley prepares for a final battle with the monsters – and this time, there are hundreds of them out there.
Alien 3 Synopsis:
Crash landing on a barren penal-colony planet with an unwelcomed visitor in tow, Ripley contends with a group of hardened convicts while using nothing but her wits to battle a terrifying new breed of alien. The sole survivor of her crashed escape pod, Ripley is rescued from the craft by the remaining inhabitants of Fiorina 161, a group of rapists and murders who chose to repent for their sins in deep space after the penal colony was officially decommissioned. When remaining warden Andrews announces Ripley’s presence to the inmates, their spiritual leader, Dillon, begins to fear that her presence will stir up trouble.
As a result, Ripley is placed in the care of prison doctor Clemens and restricted to the infirmary until a rescue ship arrives. But Ripley isn’t the only new visitor on Fiorina 161; an alien stowaway survived the crash as well, and it has planted its seed in a feral dog. Before long, a new breed of alien has burst from the dog’s chest, a stealthy hunter that moves on all fours and can navigate the darkened prison corridors virtually undetected. When the inmates start to disappear, the remaining survivors must fight for their lives without weapons to defend themselves. The only person who knows the alien well enough to beat it is Ripley, and while her plan to corner and kill the creature just might work, a horrifying discovery reveals that her fight is far from over
Alien: Resurrection Synopsis:
Two centuries after Ellen Ripley’s death, doctors aboard the space station Auriga clone her using a blood sample taken from Fiorna 161, in hopes of harvesting the queen embryo that was incubating inside of her when she was trapped on the remote penal planet. Finally succeeding after numerous attempts, they remove the alien and repair the clone for further study. Before long, the Ripley clone has gained consciousness, and displays superhuman capabilities that suggest it possesses alien DNA.
When Ripley discovers that General Perez is keeping the queen in a heavily fortified room of the space station, she warns the military man and his scientists that the creature cannot be contained no matter how hard they try. Meanwhile, General Perez has hired a crew of space pirates to deliver the cryogenically frozen bodies of another ship to the Auriga so they can be used to breed more aliens. The leader of the pirates is Johner, a gruff mercenary who engages Ripley to no avail. When Call, one of Johner’s crewmembers, admits that she was sent to assassinate Ripley, General Perez attempts to have the pirates executed.
The result is a tense standoff between the pirates and the military men, with the aliens causing havoc after breaking free of their containment cells. Attempting a daring escape, Ripley and the pirates discover the lab where she was cloned before being forced to swim through the mess hall, which has been submerged in water during the aliens’ escape. Discovering a carefully guarded secret about Call’s past, Ripley attempts to convince her to alter the Auruga’s course, which was set to Earth when the ship went into emergency mode. With the fate of mankind hanging in the balance, Ripley is captured by the aliens and taken to their nest, where she comes face to face with the mutated results of the scientists’ experiments.