a) The Offer
Cronenberg talked about how he was being asked to direct Aliens 4, they were begging him to direct it and he was tempted for a minute, Sigourney wasn't informed that he was being asked, but Cronenberg it would have been fun to work with Sigourney Weaver and Winona Ryder.
b) His Own Dilemma
But at the end of it, doing what he thought was a big budget schlocky horror movie or big budget movie wouldn't have been fun for him, slaving a whole year of his life on such a thing.
If he had made "Aliens 4" as he called it, he would have to deliver a movie, make the best version of it he can, not try to make it something that they didn't expect that might have been more personal to him and then have the studio fighting him.
He preferred to be honest and would have perhaps found himself in a situation where he was spending $80 to a $100 dollars of the studios money have having to be deceitful and battling with the studio. He wouldn't have tried to be deceitful but battles were typical in the studio system.
He wouldn't have made a movie that he would have enjoyed making, feeling that he was someone who would prefer to spend his time doing something he'd rather do than be locked into something that he'd rather not.
Also he wanted to make a movie where the atmosphere was good and the people were happy to collaborate. It wouldn't have been fair for the others who were being asked to work with him and were supposed to be sharing in the excitement about filmmaking.
Such a movie could mean giving away a whole year of ones life working on it and six months into it, perhaps it's February, winter, he would be asking whether he was suicidal or excited happy, but to projects like Alien Resurrection, his answer would be "I'm suicidal"
And so he turned around to them and said "You know, I don't even do sequels to my own movies; why would I do sequels to somebody else's movies?"
- Cronenberg is constantly offered major studio productions like Alien Resurrection. "It's tempting for a minute because they're begging me to do it. And it's Fox, and I'd love to work with Sigourney Weaver and Winona Ryder. It'd be great fun. [But] the problem with doing a schlocky big-budget horror film or studio film is that it wouldn't actually be fun for me. I'm innately honest, I think. If I'm gonna do Aliens 4, then I'm gonna deliver Aliens 4. I'm going to try and make it the best version of Aliens 4 I can. So I'm not going to try and subvert it and make it something else, because why spend $80 or $100 million of the studio's money, and just be deceitful and be fighting them all the time, and have them combat at you, and then end up with something that isn't really good either way. It's not a good commercial Hollywood movie and it's not a good art [movie]. You need all the help you can get. I mean you need the people behind you to really be behind you. You need your crew to be really excited about the movie. There's no point in dragging actors into your movie who are hating what they're doing. That whole idea of sort of seducing them into the movie--I don't do that. I wouldn't say, 'We'll pay you this much money.' 'Cause then you're living with someone who's hating what he's doing. It's very intimate and hard to do. You need buddies. You need allies and collaborators. So that's why I wouldn't do that. I actually said to them, 'You know, I don't even do sequels to my own movies; why would I do sequels to somebody else's movies?' I didn't do The Fly II. Why would I do Aliens 4?(http://www.combustiblecelluloid.com/intdc.shtml)
- SPLICED: Have you ever considered doing a big budget, schlocky studio film? Has anyone has pitched you anything like that?
Cronenberg: Oh, heavens yes! Recently? "The Truman Show" and "Aliens 4," and in the early days things like "Witness" and "Top Gun." Oh, and "Flashdance." Dawn Steele, for some reason, kept bugging me to do "Flashdance"! And I kept saying "No." and "You won't thank me! I would destroy this!" So, yes, I do get offered stuff. And, like, "Alien 4" is tempting for a minute because they're begging me to do it, and I think to work with Sigorney Weaver and Winona Ryder would be great fun, and so on. SPLICED:...and it has some of the same kinds of themes, body themes, that you often work with... Cronenberg: Yeah, because the original "Alien" took stuff from "Shivers." It was obvious that happened. I know how it happened, too, but we won't get into that. The problem with doing a schlocky or big budget studio film is that it wouldn't actually be fun for me. It wouldn't be exciting. My rule of thumb is this: You're six months into it, you've got six months to go. It's February. It's winter. It's dark. Am I suicidal, or am I really excited and happy? And the answer with those projects would be, "I'm suicidal". (http://www.splicedwire.com, April 14, 1999 at the Prescott Hotel in San Francisco ) (http://hub.contactmusic.com/interview/cronenberg)
- During the publicity tour for his controversal film Crash, David Cronenberg has said that he was offered the director's chair for Alien Resurrection. Although he was excited by the idea of working with Sigourney Weaver and Winona Ryder, he realized that he could never put his own personal stamp on the film, so he declined. [http://www.alienmovies.ca/ and they took the information from Corona.]
- "Oh really?" starts Weaver surprised at the name, before striking a
diplomatic furrow on the Crash director's chance at the gig. "I don't
know if he was offered it. I think someone like David Cronenberg would
do a great job, on the other hand the tradition is to go with someone
who hasn't made any films (David Fincher) or one film (Ridley Scott), or
two films (Cameron). There was a period when Fox considered a lot of
people" (Empire Classics #4 2018, p67)