Sigourney Weaver's Ellen Ripley is one of the greatest female heroes of all time. Her determination and grit are not so easily matched by any other onscreen heroine, even to this very day. Ridley Scott, the famed director of the original #Alien film and the upcoming #AlienCovenant, first introduced us to this amazing character back in 1979. However, it was James Cameron's turn in the director's chair in 1986 that raised Ripley's character to pop culture legend.
In an interview with Empire Magazine, Scott revealed it wouldn't totally be out of the realm of possibility to utilize digital de-aging methods in one of his upcoming sequels that tie his expansive Alien universe together. When asked about bringing Ripley back via de-aging technology, his reply was short and left quite a lot to be desired:
"You could do that."
Still, that's not a hard "no." Just for fun, let's speculate here. Suppose it's an option on the table. Could they bring Ripley back? Should they?
It Could Capitalize On The Growing Trend And Emerging Technology
Disney, with its unlimited access to both financial and technological means, have been using this digital facial CGI in a number of ways. It has been used to make stars like Robert Downey Jr. and Michael Douglas appear as younger CGI versions of themselves, and to make Carrie Fisher's Princess Leia appear in Rogue One. In other instances, like with Peter Cushing's Governor Tarkin in Rogue One's Governor Tarkin, it can be used to reinsert actors who have passed away since last portraying their character.
As #SigourneyWeaver is very much alive, it's entirely possible that she could provide the mocapping for her younger self, should Ripley ever be included in the prequels. Even if she weren't able to provide her services in person, Weaver portrayed Ripley through four films in the Alien franchise. There is more than enough footage to digitally recreate her as a younger version of herself.
Now That We Know She Could Be Included...Should She?
In the words of Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park: "Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should." Yes, we have the technology to include a digitally de-aged Ripley in future prequel movies, but that doesn't necessarily mean it would add to the story.
It's easy to compare the legacy of both Ellen Ripley and Leia Organa. They're both iconic female heroes that have been praised and loved all over the globe for many, many years. However, though it truly was a gift and quite the surprise to see Princess Leia in Rogue One, the movie would've been just as great without it. Couple that with the fact it would probably upset Weaver herself, as she's been clamoring for a Ripley comeback for years, I don't see a whole lot of sense in doing it.
But if done correctly, and with Weaver's knowledge and permission, of course, it could turn out to be a pleasant little surprise. The best method would be to somehow use this technology to bridge the gap between the final moments of #RidleyScott's final Alien prequel and the original film.
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Why Not Just Find A Way To Bring Back Weaver Herself?
Scott's words should all be taken with a grain of salt as a four-word reply doesn't in any way guarantee or even hint that this is what Scott has planned. The idea itself also does present some issues given how excited Weaver has been these past few years to revisit the character after all this time and finally bring an end to her consistently tragic story. If Scott were to bring the character back, it'd more likely lean more toward something like the cameo of Princess Leia at the end of Rogue One than a full onscreen revival.
There are rumors circulating that we may see a nod to Ripley in Alien: Covenant. It remains to be seen, however, if that will amount to anything more than pure fan speculation.
I suppose we'll all find out when Covenant hits theaters on May 19, 2017.
Do you want to see a young Ripley appear in a future 'Alien' film? Or should the character just finally be retired?