Alien 3: The End of Ripley?

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a) The cloning solution

Alien 3 had been filmed, Ripley has died. How can another Alien movie starring Sigourney Weaver as Ripley go on?

Sigourney said to David Giler on the night of the wrap party on Alien 3  "I'm gonna miss this character"

Giler replied "don't be silly, this character is you know, she'd just had her chest ripped out in a pit of fire and you know and all the rest of it. So we start Alien four , we go to some laboratory some place and they open up a drawer, and they've got your fingernail clippings in there. And they clone you and you're a whole new one. "

"Really?" replied Sigourney

Giler continued "We could bully them. If anyone wants to bring you back we can do it."

Sigourney wasn't saying no to this but on the other hand, she wondered just how many times could the character of Ripley wake up to the same situation over and over again and win, and then go back to sleep and then have the same thing happen in the next movie

Giler would later have somebody came to him and say "I think they are talking about making another Alien", and when somebody came to ask him how he thought it should be done, he would have an idea.

Ripley clone grown from blood samples from "Fiori 16"
b) See: Whedon writes the Alien Resurrection script

Source Quotes
  1. David Giler: If everyone loves this movie, there will be a fourth one. It's science fiction, there are nine million ways to bring Ripley back, or to do other stories. (CFQ:V22,:N6:p14)
  2. David Giler: Sigourney told me on the night of the rap party on Alien Three that she was gonna miss this character. I said "don't be silly, this character is you know, she'd just had her chest ripped out in a pit of fire and you know and all the rest of it. I said so we start Alien three, we go to some laboratory some place and they open up a drawer, and they've got your fingernail clippings in there. And they clone you and you're a whole new one." "Really?" "We could bully them. If anyone wants to bring you back we can do it." And it's pretty much like that. Somebody came to me now and said, I think they are talking about making another Alien and you know, somebody comes and asks me how I think it should be done, I've got an idea. (report from the interview of Alien Evolutions)
  3. Starburst: So this is finally the end of the line for Ripley?
    Sigourney Weaver: Well, If Walter (Hill) and David (Giler) and all those guys can come up with some amazing scenario where Ripley could be reconstituted from her finger nail clippings, I'm  not saying no. It's just that how many times can the same character wake up to the same situation over and over again and win, and then go back to sleep and then have the same thing happen in the next movie. ((Starburst #170 "Sigourney Weaver: Three Times a Lady" interview Part 3)

Joss Whedon injects vampiric blood into the script

Leading from:
Alien Resurrection
a.) The Newborn
Joss Whedon who wrote the script for Buffy The Vampire Slayer and produced the series by that name wrote the script for Alien Resurrection. He introduced a new alien entity into the story called "The Newborn".

b) Albino alien creature that drains blood
People who have heard about his work might wonder what personal themes he has brought into the film and assume that he somehow integrated the idea of vampires into the script. The newborn turns out to be an albino alien creature that drains the blood from its victims.

c) Vampire written out
However the vampiric quality of this entity was soon written out of the story when they couldn't afford to create a newborn as he had imagined it. At present no artwork depicting Joss's vision of the newborn is know to the public.

  1. The description of the entity in the script is as follows
    "An alien, to be sure, but nothing we've seen so far, its forelegs arch 
    out of its back like spiders legs, its back legs set on enormous 
    haunches, thick and powerful.
    Its head is long, eyeless, like the others, but along its white expanse 
    red veins, coming out of the skin and running like thick black hairs to 
    the back.
    It has retracted pincers at the side of head that come out when its 
    tongue does.
    Its much bigger the the others, nearly the size of the queen herself.
    And it's bone white."
  2. It's method of killing involves draining the blood as shown here when it kills a soldier
    "pincers SWING out and pin either side of his head.. His eyes go wide as: Its tongue SHOOTS into his throat. Stays there, and we watch it drain the blood from his body. We can see it, see its stomach swell, red tinged, as his body goes"
     
     
     

Alien Resurrection:
Jordu Schell's Newborn maquette
snarling with large eye sockets

leading from
 
 



Alien Resurrection:
Jordu Schell's Newborn
maquette with a skull face

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Alien Resurrection:
Jordu Schell's Newborn maquette
with head inspired by
Chris Hall's concept art

Alien Resurrection:
Jordu Schell's Newborn maquette
with eyes like nostrils

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Alien Resurrection:
Jordu Schell's Maquette
of the final Newborn

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Alien Resurrection:
Jordu Schell's Painted Maquette
of the final Newborn

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Alien Resurrection: The Newborn

leading from

a) The idea behind the Newborn
The idea of the newborn was mimicking, much like Ripley 8 was a human whose DNA had been scattered because of Alien contamination. The Newborn was going to be an alien whose DNA had been contaminated by human DNA, which was also the idea behind the alien queen and the alien warriors in the movie

A choice of aliens on a piece of paper


b) Designs by Chris Halls
Chris Halls/Cunningham did some concept sketches for the Newborn which Tom Woodruff found to be beautiful. What they knew that they wanted was a giant sized alien that had two arms and two legs, the long head and a weird body, but they decided to make it look as if it was already rotting and petrified, and if the thing was a dead thing that had been born and was already starting to decompose, which is more or less the concept the Ridley Scott had behind the original alien while he was making the movie.  Chris did them both on the same piece of paper and at the bottom he drew a sketch that was a very human figure with a sort of sunken chest and pot belly with an alien head on it as if it was done in jest, and Tom thought it was very funny.




Tom said  "This looks like some old actor wearing an alien head,"

They presented Jean-Pierre with the drawings expecting him to pick the top alien but Jean-Pierre then  saw the little alien drawing at the bottom and said "I love this, this is the Newborn"

And with that ADI had to drive the development down a direction to satisfy his interest in the silly proportions of this illustration without it just being an alien head on a scrawny man.

(See: Chris Cunningham Hall's Newborn alien)

c) The Design Process
The next stage was was to follow their design process, going along with the idea that there is no one direction or just one design out there that's going to work. ADI's method followed the idea of casting a very wide net and go off in all kinds of directions with loose sketches and look at different things. Their idea was that this was a very organic process where one thing grows into another.

( See: the Jordu Schell page and click on links to see artwork and maquettes)

One of Jordu Schell's Newborn maquetes

d) Losing sight of Chris Halls' design
What Chris did in his drawings of the beast was revered with wonder by many afterwards and perhaps it might have been nice if they had gone with his concepts alone. Even the Sylvain Despretz had good words to say about Chris' work. However it was a fact that Chris remained in England unable to be present in the studio to push his vision.

The Newborn  and Ripley 8. (Not


e) Features from Ripley's face
There was some reference that the Newborn had to look like Ripley, but ADI were never big believers in incorporating the beautiful face of Sigourney Weaver into a monster's face. The only time that they knew it had successfully been done was in HR Giger's paintings, where it has a creepy but beautiful quality. Their problem was trying to ground the design and they didn't want to make it look as if it was straight out of Species. They took a different track to humanizing the creature.

Head and shoulders of the newborn

f) It should have Ripley's eyes
Chris' original design didn't have eyes but had the now traditional alien dome covering that part of the face, but the final alien creature would have eyes.

ADI were saying "the alien have never had eyes and the audience have come to know it that way and come to appreciate it that way"

But Jean-Pierre had different ideas, he said "yes but this is different because it's been contaminated by Ripley's DNA, so not only should it have eyes, it should have Ripley's eyes"

The change in direction was to move away from the standard biomechanical look and thought in terms of very strong classical  death imagery, a skull like face, and try to lay it in textures that would make it part human and part Alien. But ADI were not too happy about attempting to put Sigourney's beautiful brown eyes into the creature's skull like face. Tom was worried about it looking like a totally different sort of creature but ultimately their job was to go in the direction that the director wanted, and they couldn't get rid of the idea showing the eyes

Newborn's eyes

g) Digital castration
There was an issue regarding the Newborn's genitalia and that Jean-Pierre would joke that since he was French, he wanted something sexy in the movie. Sigourney was a daring actress, and both she and Jean-Pierre wanted to disturb the Fox executives. Sigourney in particular was in favour of going further with the sexual attraction between the Newborn and Ripley, to the point where the creature would require articulated genitalia. ADI built them as a combination of make and female organs, they wanted to be a little vague about what sex the creature was. However, in the end, the genitals wouldn't be see,  they shot around them and because of the creature's height, there would be a lot of shooting over its shoulder, and in some cases, they would have to digitally remove the genitals. Perhaps the digital genital removal in Alien Resurrection was a first



Maquette showing genitalia
 

h) Further Confusion
Also the culmination of that was the newborn who is really half human and half alien. It came out of the need to show something more up front. Alec Gillis himself admitted that he wasn't happy with the Newborn character, but it was the best they could do at the time. The new aliens were more communicative with each other and also aggressive. Giger could see traces from the head of one of his unused alien designs in the creature but he thought that it resembled like Donald Duck and looked ridiculous. Having said this, if one put the creature in a movie where it had nothing to do with Alien might have invited different comments about it.

Alien design concept that appear to have inspired the side of the Alien newborn
complete with holes in the side of the cranium

Quote sources
  1. Sigourney Weaver: I'm not sure how I feel about the alien child. It was another way to kind of riff  on the whole maternal theme from the second one. (Alien The Archive: p251)
  2. Tom Woodruff: The idea of the newborn was mimicking, much like Sigourney was a human clone whose DNA had been scattered because of alien contamination. The Newborn was going to be an alien whose DNA had been contaminated by human DNA. (Alien The Archive: p294)
  3. Tom Woodruff: Chris did some beautiful sketches. We knew we wanted it to be a giant sized alien and to have two arms and two legs and the long alien head and the weird body, but we decided to make it look like it was already rotting and petrified, as if it had been a dead thing that had been born and started to decompose. Chris had done a sketch that was a very human figure with this kind of sunken chest and a pot belly with an alien head on it. I thought it was very funny. I said, 'This looks like some old actor wearing an alien head," and Jean-Pierre saw it and he said' I love this, this is the Newborn." We do a design process, there is no one direction, because there's never just one design out there that's going to work. So what we try to do is cast a very wide net and go off in all kinds of directions with loose sketches and look at different things. It's a very organic process, one thing grows into another. (Alien The Archive: p294-296)
  4. Tom Woodruff: While Halls' initial design didn't have eyes, the final creatures somewhat controversially did. That became the biggest design conversation we had. Jean-Pierre really wanted to have eyes in the alien and we said, "the alien have never had eyes and the audience have come to know it that way and come to appreciate it that way" and he said "yes but this is different because it's been contaminated by Ripley's DNA, so not only should it have eyes, it should have Ripley's eyes" . Sigourney's got these beautiful brown eyes and you put those eyes in this skull like face, it's still not going to be Ripley.  I was worried about it looking like a total different birth of a creature. Ultimately we had to go in the direction the director wanted or you could say we were not successful in the derailing his wanting to see eyes. (Alien The Archive: p298)
  5. Jean-Pierre Jeunet: We needed someone new someone more touching and he's very cruel, very bad, he kills the mother. So it's a mix of something sweet and something very tough and this is one of the themes of this film. It's about incest because Ripley is the mother and she makes a kind of love with the son.  It's disturbing.  Probably this is the reason some American people don't like like so much Alien4 because it's about sex and they are always embarrassed about sex. (Alien The Archive: p298)
  6. Tom Woodruff: Jean-Pierre saw this kind of silly, proportions of this thing, we had to drive it down that direction to satisfy what he liked in that the drawing without it being an alien head on a scrawny man . (Alien The Archive: p297)
  7. Alec Gillis: There was some reference that the Newborn had to look like Ripley, but we were never big believers in incorporating such a beautiful woman's face as Sigourney's into a monster's face. The only time it has been successfully done has been in H R Giger's paintings, where it has a creepy kind of beautiful quality. The problem with that is trying to ground it. We didn't want to do something that looked like it was straight out of Species. So we took a different track in humanizing the creature. We moved away from the standard bio-mechanical look and thought in terms of a very strong sort of classical death imagery, a skull-like face, and tried to lay it in textures that would make it look part human and part Alien. (Fangoria #170, p28)
  8. Alec Gillis: There was this issue of the Newborn's genitalia, and Jean Pierre used to joke that since he was French, he had to have something sexy in the movie. Sigourney is a daring actress and she and Jean-Pierre wanted to disturb the Fox executives. Sigourney in particular was in favor of going further with the sexual attraction between the Newborn and Ripley, to the point where the creature would have articulated genitalia. So we built them; they were a combination of make and female organs. We wanted to be a little vague about what the sex of the creature is. Ultimately you don't see the genitals as much - they shot around them. Because of the Newborn's height there was a lot of shooting over its shoulders, and in some cases they had to digitally remove the genitals. I'm not sure that has ever been done before - digital genital removal. (Fangoria #170, p28)
  9. Alec Gillis: True story: Chris Cunningham did these two designs on the same page. The dumpy guy on the bottom was done in jest. We presented the one on top, but the director liked the one on the bottom. That set the tone for the development of the Newborn Alien. ( ) (https://www.instagram.com/p/BDY4qRwqokJ/ March 25th 2016)