“We’re on an express elevator to hell, going down!”
On Saturday afternoon, the cast and crew of Aliens assembled for a 30th anniversary panel at San Diego’s Comic-Con. Director James Cameron and producer Gale Anne Hurd joined cast members Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Paul Reiser, and Newt herself Carrie Henn.
The hour-long discussion ranged from production hurdles to Stan Winston’s practical effects to the sequels that followed, specifically David Fincher’s third film, which killed off pretty much every character Cameron created. Needless to say, the veteran director still harbors some feelings about that.
“I thought [the decision to kill off Newt, Hicks, and Bishop] was dumb,” Cameron admitted. “I thought it was a huge slap in the face to the fans. David Fincher is a friend of mine, and he’s an amazing filmmaker, unquestionably. That was kind of his first big gig, and he was getting vectored around by the studio, and he dropped into the production late, and they had a horrible script, and they were re-writing it on the fly. It was just a mess. I think it was a big mistake. Certainly, had we been involved we would not have done that, because we felt we earned something with the audience for those characters.”
Yikes. Naturally, the topic immediately hatched into Neil Blomkamp’s hush hush psuedo sequel to Aliens, which Fox has currently put on hold thanks to Ridley Scott’s Prometheus follow-up, Alien: Covenant. Much like Weaver, he’s a huge fan of the screenplay that Blomkamp has cooked up.
“I think it works gangbusters. He shared it with me, and I think it’s a very strong script and he could go make it tomorrow,” Cameron lobbied. “I don’t know anything about the production, and I don’t know what Ridley’s doing. But hopefully there’ll be room for both of them. Like parallel universes.”
We won’t know for awhile about the status of Blomkamp’s film, but 20th Century Fox will certainly pacify fans on September 13th with the new 30th anniversary Blu-ray of Aliens. Until then, watch the panel above and start crushin’ some bugs.