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Alien: Resurrection - What Could Have Been

Alien: Resurrection - What Could Have Been

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Patient Leech

Sep-06-2016 5:07 PM

Does anyone else wonder what could have been if Joss Whedon had directed Alien: Resurrection instead of just writing it? I know he wasn't really established yet as a director at the time, so I'm sure that's why he wasn't chosen, probably didn't have the experience for such a huge film, but damn, now that we see what he's capable of it's a shame.

Because I just watched the film again the other day and it really stood out how bad the characterization is and I think if Joss Whedon had actually picked the actors and directed them it would have ended up a much, much better film. I think hiring someone else to direct Joss Whedon's writing was a very bad decision. Of course hindsight is always 20/20. The film has some nice prosthetic effects and visuals, but overall it's really quite sloppy and sadly even comically bad at times. It really stands out terribly next to the other 3 films. It's no wonder they want to pretend 3 and 4 never happened. (As flawed as Alien 3 and 4 were, I still have trouble with that idea, just completely retconning the 3rd and 4th films.)

And I just read today that the Alien: Resurrection novelization (which is developed from the script) actually has some interesting stuff with the newborn and whatnot (hoping to read it soon)...

25 Responses to Alien: Resurrection - What Could Have Been

Patient Leech

Sep-06-2016 5:17 PM

Yeah, I like the "assembled" cut of Alien 3 quite a lot actually. And that's another thing there, it would have been nice to see what David Fincher would have created given proper creative freedom. But the assembled cut is the closest we'll ever see and it's pretty damn good.

S.M

Sep-06-2016 5:23 PM

There's a few extra bits and pieces in the novelisation, but there's no great revelations.

I think Whedon came up with a great story, but the script was definitely lacking.  The final film mercifully excised or changed some of Whedon's worst dialogue.  The main problem is lack of tension - most, but not all of this is Whedon's fault.

There's too many scenes where they just stand around and have a chat, and there's no feeling that an Alien is about to jump out and nab someone.  This might've been alleviated if the scene where Ripley meets the crew after the Aliens escape wasn't cut.  An earlier draft had an action set piece where Ripley fought an Alien hand to hand while the Betty crew were shooting at both of them.  It culminates in Ripley killing it and tearing out the inner jaw.

Now we've seen how things like this turn out based on the AvP films.  They can be a bit lacklustre.  However, the very fact that it was an action set piece would've broken up the 'stand around and have a chat' vibe a bit.

To be honest I find Whedon a bit over-rated.  As a fan of his work on Resurrection, I tried to get into Buffy but couldn't.  I loved both of his Avenger movies, but the first was very paint by numbers in terms of the script.  You could see every story beat coming based on the trailer.

So should he have directed?  In my opinion, no. Jeunet elevated the material, particularly visually.  It's still riddled with flaws, but no more so than Alien3.  That film is just riddled with different flaws.  The Assembly even more so.

If you feel like it, seek out an early draft of Resurrection. That might've made for a better film before Fox started taking an axe to the budget despite Weaver and Ryder's best efforts.

S.M

Sep-06-2016 6:23 PM

I love Alien3 and Resurrection - but I can't objectively pretend they're brilliant films.

brego

Sep-06-2016 10:20 PM

There is so much wrong with AR I don't know where to begin. I think the biggest travesty is the fact that such a visionary director as Jean-Pierre Jeunet made such a mess of it. The French/Euro comedy style simply didn't work. He didn't have a handle on Alien Lore and it showed. Messy, silly and saddest of all, could and should have been great.

Michelle Johnston

Sep-06-2016 11:22 PM

Thanks to my involvement here I bought the A Q set recently and watched the special editions of both 3 and R. 

3 in the assembly cut is elevated in my mind. It returns to the mood of the first movie but picks up on the consequential effects of Ripley's long arc. The philosophical themes of sexual repression ,alienation and spiritual reformism are what the movie is about with the grunge and OX-Zeno as back drop. The Alien myth is not expanded at all but the notion of redemption through sacrifice is.

For me it is now established in my mind so if A 5 is made it has a lot of hurdles to cross. In one sense it gives A S an Island feel with its americanised and action values but JC made a good job of it, not withstanding the Queen concept, which mercifully for me is balanced by Ripley's mother trip.

A R is just a hockey trip. A curiosity and the actors, particularly Ms Weaver, deliver the lines as if it is E T, indeed it was made in Hollywood and it shows. In the hands of the valiant Aliens marines it works but combined with the resurrected Ripley and the Euro trash style it does not.

From an ALIEN LORE perspective Prometheus knocks these two films out of the park, actually out of the galaxy.

From an AI perspective they go all politically correct, softening the concept and introducing the Ryder Weaver "thing". The real core of this film should have been what type of people would pursue the appalling immoral cloning experiment. A more civilised evolved human society would not, but a corporation which at its heart had now been run by A I since Order 937 could and the revelation at the end that Ripley had been cloned by machines would have lead nicely into a fascinating sequel where "Ripley hybrid" goes up against W-Y on earth and gives her cloning gravitas and a basis for drama.  

Centauri

Sep-06-2016 11:45 PM

I liked the Aliens Labyrinth and Aliens Asylum comic references in it.

 

 

 

****

 "Must be something we haven't seen yet.."__Bishop

http://www.alien-covenant.com/series/

            

Aorta

Sep-07-2016 3:56 AM

With due respect to his fans, I have to say I absolutely can't stand Joss Whedon.

Initially, I just didn't care about him, but then in an interview years back someone asked if he saw Prometheus and he said 'yeah, I saw Promeaningless' which I found to be petty and weak. 

Some people, when they get a place in the public eye, simply don't know what to do with it. I'm reminded of all those one hit wonder acts on MTV who wore 'I'm being cool in a music video!' all over their faces. He had an opportunity to deal with his distaste for a colleagues' work gracefully, but had neither the class nor the wit to do so.

Sorry for the anti JW rant, I know he has his strengths. Marvel movies aren't my thing, though. It has to be pointed out that his best work is on other people's ideas.

Durp004

Sep-07-2016 5:10 AM

A:R was doomed from concept to me. Just the basic plot is so dumb. Here's a summary:

Ripley got clones with the queen alien inside her(?); aliens get loose. Btw a team of mercs show up. Hilarity ensues.

Patient Leech

Sep-07-2016 6:30 AM

S.M:

There's too many scenes where they just stand around and have a chat, and there's no feeling that an Alien is about to jump out and nab someone.

I see what you mean. The tone of the film is definitely weak. That's one thing I liked about Alien 3 was that the tone was actually returned to something at least similar to the original film. I also think that ending with the ship arriving at Earth was really lame, and an obvious "Hollywoodization." I don't understand why they wrote a Hollywood script, but then tried to get a director who "didn't want to make a Hollywood movie," but then somehow still tried to.

I know there was still plenty wrong with the script, but I think that had Joss Whedon directed it, the characters would have been much better (ala Firefly). That is his greatest strength.

God the basketball scene is so f#cking stupid. And why didn't Christie just shake the alien off of his leg instead of dropping himself to his death??

Another thing that bothers me about A:R is that Ripley is at least to some degree stripped of her humanity and then we are asked to try to relate to her on an emotional level again. To me that is odd. It's sort of interesting, but perhaps it wasn't explored properly. It just felt like she was in the movie to make the studio happy. I think Joss Whedon originally didn't have her in the script. The Studio said to put her in there. It honestly may have been better without her (among other things).

brego:

I think the biggest travesty is the fact that such a visionary director as Jean-Pierre Jeunet made such a mess of it. The French/Euro comedy style simply didn't work. He didn't have a handle on Alien Lore and it showed.

Yup. Visually it's quite good, but nothing else is worthwhile. For that I partly blame the studio, because they went with a director who is visual, but not particularly concerned with other important aspects.

Aorta:

Initially, I just didn't care about him, but then in an interview years back someone asked if he saw Prometheus and he said 'yeah, I saw Promeaningless' which I found to be petty and weak. 

Yeah, that's obnoxious. Prometheus is starting to tell the story that everyone else associated with the series wants to see, and he makes a comment like that? That's stupid. Please don't let him write another Alien film, heh..

Something Real

Sep-07-2016 11:28 AM

PATIENT LEECH - This is a very interesting question you have raised! Having viewed some of Mr. Whedon's work, I believe Alien: Resurrection would have been a little more, hmm, zany(?) if placed in his hands. I do not particularly like or dislike his cinematic contributions. However, I believe his style of film making might not be the best choice with regards to the creation of an Alien film. Of course, I could be completely wrong with this assessment; Joss Whedon could very well produce an Alien film in the future and completely amaze us all with his capability! :)

S.M

Sep-07-2016 3:09 PM

"

A:R was doomed from concept to me. Just the basic plot is so dumb. Here's a summary:

Ripley got clones with the queen alien inside her(?); aliens get loose. Btw a team of mercs show up. Hilarity ensues."

Alien:

Astronauts land on a planet and a monster gets on their ship.  Btw it kills them.  Hilarity ensues.

Any film can be distilled down to a silly summary.

"I don't understand why they wrote a Hollywood script, but then tried to get a director who "didn't want to make a Hollywood movie," but then somehow still tried to."

Maybe the same reason they got a guy who wasn't into science fiction and had a great visual eye to make the first film?

"I know there was still plenty wrong with the script, but I think that had Joss Whedon directed it, the characters would have been much better (ala Firefly). That is his greatest strength."

Firefly was based on the Betty crew, without Whedon even realising he was repeating himself, by his own admission. After he blamed everyone but himself for Resurrections problems I never bothered with Firefly.

Something Real

Sep-07-2016 3:22 PM

ATI - Hahaha! I am glad you find my responses to your liking! :)

Something Real

Sep-07-2016 5:07 PM

ATI - You are far too kind! Thank you ever so much for your pleasantries. They have brightened my day to a large degree! :)

Patient Leech

Sep-08-2016 6:00 AM

S.M:

"I don't understand why they wrote a Hollywood script, but then tried to get a director who "didn't want to make a Hollywood movie," but then somehow still tried to."

Maybe the same reason they got a guy who wasn't into science fiction and had a great visual eye to make the first film?

That's different. Ridley was brought on to help elevate a B-movie premise with an A+ production. But with A:R the script was Hollywoodized, so to get a director who didn't want to make a Hollywoodized movie was contradictory. Why write a Hollywoodized script if they didn't want one?? Studios are silly sometimes.

S.M

Sep-08-2016 1:38 PM

Yeah sometimes.  But not intentionally so.  They obviously thought, based on Delicatessen and City Of Lost Children, that he had something to bring to the table.  I would say they were right.

MonsterZero

Sep-08-2016 5:32 PM

Love Alien:R !

Watched it the other day.

The Newborn tearing it's mothers(the queen) face off is one of the best scenes in cinema history. I love the look of the newborn. Freaky...Love it!

I'm starting to like this movie over Aliens! Just feels strange and different..(There isn't one second in Aliens where it feels 'strange'.)

Do I think it's on the same level as Aliens? No.....not close.....But it's really becoming my go to alien experience!

Patient Leech

Sep-09-2016 9:26 AM

^ Yeah, visually it's fun. I just have trouble stomaching the horribly uninteresting characters.

Thoughts_Dreams

Sep-18-2016 2:22 AM

I don't think that it is terribly bad, it is just that it is the worst among the Alien movies. Something went wrong but I am not sure what that was.

 

Cloning Ripley could maybe have worked if the other characters would have been better written. I am not totally against the idea even if it feels a bit unimaginative. What is interesting in this case is that the Alien movies are connected to sci-fi and that there are many possibilities within that genre (it is like: what could have been if? What might be possible within science?) so there are many roads that they can travel and that makes it kind of sad when they don't manage to get it right (Prometheus and AR being examples although I think that Prometheus is better).

 

The android Call was interesting even though I think that Bishop and Ash (Alien 1979) were better. As far as Call goes they could probably have given her better lines but that goes for all characters.

 

Facehuggers!: Alien 3 is my favorite movie among them all and yes AR has some interesting things in it but fails in general.

 

Michelle: I also believe that the assembly cut of Alien 3 is better than the version that they showed in the movie theaters.

 

Aorta: If he doesn't like Prometheus then it is understandable. They really made a mess of what could have been a much better movie but Prometheus is still alright in general.

 

S.M

Sep-18-2016 5:15 PM

I don't think they ever fully realised the dichotomy of Ripley8, but at the same time it's good that there's no real defining event that she picks a side.  It's really just - I want to live, and hanging out with these pirate guys seems to be the best option.

That said, it was a shame that Weaver's best dialogue as Ripley8 in the extended chapel scene got cut from the theatrical version.

"Michelle: I also believe that the assembly cut of Alien 3 is better than the version that they showed in the movie theaters."

So many people say this, but I've never heard an opinion that convinces me that it is, in fact, the case.  I'm interested in being convinced though.

Gavin

Sep-19-2016 2:18 AM

I almost can't believe I'm gonna say this but I actually agree with S.M. With the exception of the "Super Facehugger" the assembly cut doesn't bring anything new to the narrative that was already in the theatrical cut of Alien 3.

Yes, they may successfully catch the alien in the waste storage room but Golic (Paul McGann) just lets it loose again, making its capture moot. I know a lot of people say that the assembly cut is the closest thing we'll get to a David Fincher's vision of an Alien film, but after seeing his take on the Girl with the Dragon Tatoo and especially the truly awesome Girl Gone I feel that Alien 3 is worlds away from what Fincher could have done had he had control of Alien 3. An Alien movie made by today's David Fincher would be a truly terrifying and disturbing movie.

As for Alien Resurrection. Fans give Whedon and Cameron a hard time despite what they tried to achieve. Alien was a collection of the right people at the right time, whereas Alien Resurrection was the polar opposite. Whedon is a good writer action and comedy writer, and when it comes to characterization but he ain't no horror or suspense writer. Jeunet may be a visionary, but science fiction is a million miles from his safety zone. And the cast, while full of familiar favorites were completely miscast in what essentially come across as comedic roles.

S.M

Sep-19-2016 6:09 AM

"With the exception of the "Super Facehugger" the assembly cut doesn't bring anything new to the narrative that was already in the theatrical cut of Alien 3."

Quite.

I think the Workprint is a bit closer to what Fincher preferred since he didn't like the ox-burster.  The Workprint is a much tighter cut too.

The Assembly, by it's very title, shows how important Editors are.

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