Alien’s Alternate Ending Would Ruin The Franchise Before It Even Started
This is Ripley, the last survivor of the Nostromo, signing off.
- Ellen Ripley was a revolutionary character who forever changed the perception of female heroes in science fiction.
- Ridley Scott's original plan was to kill Ripley at the end of Alien, but the studio talked him out of it.
Ridley Scott's Alien is a groundbreaking movie in many ways. In the late 1970s, it broke the stereotypes of science fiction cinema as naive, cheap, or intended for a very specific audience.
The Alien franchise is remembered for its tense atmosphere, the changing tone of the narrative with each sequel, and the brilliantly designed monster. The design of the Alien, created by H. R. Giger, managed to frighten and attract at the same time, and the grandiose mythology only added to the image of a mysterious and deadly creature.
But to confront the Alien, the movie needed the right hero, and that hero was Lieutenant Ellen Ripley. She is not afraid of corporate intrigue, merciless androids, and alien hordes, she assesses the situation in cold blood, tries to find a way out, and is able to give a worthy rebuff to xenomorphs who are physically superior to humans in every way.
Ridley Scott Planned to Kill Ellen Ripley
And Ripley clearly does all this better than the brave but useless male crew members. In many ways, such a memorable character is a credit to Sigourney Weaver's excellent acting, which redeems even the not-so-brilliant parts of the franchise.
However, Ellen Ripley almost never became an iconic horror character – director Ridley Scott originally planned to kill off her at the end of the movie.
The director felt that the ending with Ripley surviving would be flat. According to Scott's own comments, the moment Ellen opened the airlock, the alien would attack her:
“She harpoons it, it makes no difference. It comes forward and it slams through her mask and rips her head off.”
Scott called the studio representatives to pitch the idea, and 14 hours later he saw them live – they came to tell Scott that if he did such an ending, he would be fired on the spot. Studio control is often not the most helpful factor in the production of a movie, but in this case it is worth recognizing that we all have to thank the studio for such decision.
Ellen Ripley Is an Iconic Female Character
The role of Ellen Ripley not only became an acting breakthrough for Sigourney Weaver, but also proved to the audience that not only men can be the heroes of science fiction (and any other) action movies.
It is also worth noting that Scott has always been characterized by his interest in female characters at the center of the plot: for example, in the nineties he released Thelma & Louise and G.I. Jane, and a few years ago – The Last Duel and House of Gucci.
Ellen Ripley is a multidimensional character who, according to many critics, forever changed the perception of female protagonists in science fiction films. Ripley is not endowed with superhuman powers, she did not prepare specifically for a battle in space with an alien xenomorph, she makes mistakes and is disappointed like anyone else in such a situation. She is a woman who saves the world, herself and her cat.
Sigourney Weaver’s character is the holy grail of fantasy genre. And the fact that she was the first woman to be nominated for an Academy Award for the role in a science fiction project only underscores her legendary status.
Source: Entertainment Weekly