So often, we look at a good actor or actress in a bad film and wonder, Why the hell did they agree to do this film? Sometimes, to be perfectly blunt, they do it for a paycheck or to mark "blockbuster film" off their checkbox. At other times, it's that the film seemed like a great idea on paper and in concept, but after extensive editing or studio meddling, it turned out a mess.
But sometimes, an actress will look at a film coming down the pipeline and understand the complete disaster headed her way, then bail before she goes down with the ship. Such was the case with sci-fi icon Sigourney Weaver and the Alien franchise when she caught wind of the Alien vs. Predator project, the actress revealed in a new interview with Radio Times. In fact, so certain was she that it was going to be a disaster that she specifically asked that her character, Ellen Ripley, be killed off in Alien 3 so she wouldn't have to appear in the ill-conceived crossover movie.
"Well, yes [I wanted her killed]. Because I heard that Fox was gonna do 'Alien vs Predator.' Which really depressed me because I was very proud of the movies.
I’ve nothing against building a movie on a video game, but at the time, it was, as Jim Cameron said I think publicly, 'Why would you want to do that?' It’s like making 'Alien Meets the Wolfman.'"
In fact, so poorly received was the idea of a xenomorph vs. Yautja beat-down that it chased not only Weaver away from the Alien franchise, but also original director Ridley Scott, revealed Weaver:
"In fact, Ridley Scott was about to direct a third one, until this was announced, and he dropped out, because he also wanted to do an Alien sequel. I think it caused more problems than it was worth."
Granted, the original AVP (sci-fi fans still shudder at those three little letters, the same way Spider-Man fans shudder when they hear "emo Peter Parker") did well enough to warrant a sequel. But most fans and critics agree they were not very good movies, setting both the Alien and Predator franchises back considerably.
But some good news from the destruction that AVP hath wrought: Sigourney Weaver is on board for the as-yet untitled Alien sequel project with Neill Blomkamp, and she could not be more thrilled about it:
"I’m so excited about Neill. He broke the tapes of these movies when he was a kid, he watched them so much. I love the fact that’s Neill’s fulfilling his childhood dream of what he hopes will be the Alien popcorn movie that he wanted as a kid to see."
While Elysium and Chappie may not have been the box office smashes that everyone had hoped for, it's likely to be an entirely different story when it's a passion project for Blomkamp. And if it has the Ellen Ripley stamp of approval, all the better.
How did you feel about AVP: Alien vs. Predator?