Award® nomination) and "Alien3." The film also stars two-time Oscar® nominee Winona Ryder as Annalee Call. Ron Perlman, Dan Hedaya, i.E. Freeman, Brad Dourif and Michael Wincott co-star.
The director is Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who helmed (with Marc Caro) the features "Delicatessen" and "The City of Lost Children." The screenplay was written by Joss Whedon ("Toy Story") and the producers are Bill Badalato ("Broken Arrow"). Walter Hill, David Giler and Gordon Carroll. The director of photography is Darius Khondji, AFC. ("Evita," "Seven," "Delicatessen," "The City of Lost Children"). Nigel Phelps ("Judge Dredd") is the production designer, Bob Ringwood (the first three "Batman" films, "Alien3") is the costume designer and Hervé Schneid, ACE. ("The City of Lost Children," "Orlando," "Delicatessen") is the editor.
ALIEN RESURRECTION writer Joss Whedon greatly admired the "Alien" series and it was his script, ultimately, that led to the pivotal involvement of the film's stars, Sigourney Weaver and Winona Ryder.
"Being asked to do an 'Alien' movie was like being offered the Grail," enthuses Whedon. "I happen to be one of those diehard 'Alien' fans. I grew up on them. Being a fan helps because I was one of those guys sitting on my couch saying, 'they should let me write an 'Alien' movie.' And they did, so I had the opportunity to really sit down and think, how do I satisfy myself as a fan? That helps me keep my eye on the ball, in terms of keeping the action exciting and inserting unexpected twists, playing off what we know about the aliens and what we expect from them."
Whedon faced a novel predicament in approaching the screenplay. In the last film, Ripley died, carrying a gestating alien inside her. It fell to Whedon to bring her back and examine this new and horrific symbiosis with the alien.
"I really had to figure out two things," remembers Whedon. "What on earth can I do that's new with an 'Alien' movie and remain true to the genre and, two, how on earth do I bring Ripley back? The last part, creatively, was the hardest and most important thing."
Ripley's return, in fact, became the movie's overall theme and its ramifications informed the story on several levels. Ripley's "resurrection" enabled Whedon to, essentially, create a new, Phoenix-like character, who, obviously, would be very different from any previous Ripley. What emerged, Whedon adds, was a "... new, detached ironic perspective. She really has seen it all, done everything, including die. She is emotionally engaged in what is going on, obviously, but, at the same time, she has this kind of detachment that lends itself to a kind of black humor."
Sigourney Weaver, whose portrayal of the fearless Ripley anchors the "Alien" franchise, was interested in pursuing an addition to the series only if the story brought in new elements that were up to the original "Alien" standards. Fortunately, Whedon's story is as much an exploration of Ripley's equivocal nature as an action-adventure, and won Weaver's enthusiastic approval. This new incarnation of Ripley and her intricate, new relationship to the aliens convinced Weaver to sign on for another installment.