Sigourney Weaver won’t reprise her role as Ellen Ripley: "That ship has sailed"

Sigourney Weaver in Alien
(Image credit: Twentieth Century Fox)

Sigourney Weaver made waves in the sci-fi/horror subgenre as Ellen Ripley in Ridley Scott's 1979 hit Alien, reprising the role in subsequent sequels Aliens, Alien 3, and Alien Resurrection (as a Ripley clone). Although, while stars like Harrison Ford have gone on to reprise their iconic roles in reboot/sequels or franchise-ending films, Weaver has no interest in returning as Ripley.

"There are all kinds of younger actors taking this kind of role. And there was an Alien [film] that I really wanted to do with Neill Blomkamp and we didn’t get to do that, but, you know, that ship has sailed," Weaver says in the upcoming issue of Total Film magazine, which features Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny on the cover. "I’m very happy doing what I’m doing. I put in my time in space!"

Weaver received her first-ever Oscar nomination for her reprisal of Ripley in Aliens, which saw Ripley as the sole survivor of the alien attack on her ship.

"I think Ridley [Scott] has a lot to do with [the longevity of Ellen Ripley and Alien]," she continues. "They made Ripley a woman, without making her this helpless creature. Because I think I was very lucky. These were men who were creating this woman character, but they liked and respected strong women."

Weaver also goes on to say that after Alien, people didn't quite "know what to do" with her, as she was a comedian whose most famous role was in a serious sci-fi thriller. In 1984, the actor blended both comedy and macabre as Dana Barrett in Ghostbusters, a cellist who becomes possessed by the demon Zuul. She revisited the role in 2021's Ghostbusters: Afterlife, commenting that it's "always fun to see the guys again."

This is just a snippet of our interview in the new issue of Total Film magazine which hits shelves (and digital newsstands) this Thursday, April 27. Check out the covers below:

Total Film's Indiana Jones covers.

(Image credit: Lucasfilm/Disney/Total Film)

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Freelance writer

James Mottram is a freelance film journalist, author of books that dive deep into films like Die Hard and Tenet, and a regular guest on the Total Film podcast. You'll find his writings on GamesRadar+ and Total Film, and in newspapers and magazines from across the world like The Times, The Independent, The i, Metro, The National, Marie Claire, and MindFood. 

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