In 1979, Sigourney Weaver was a relative unknown with only a couple of bit parts to her name when she won the role of Ripley in Alien, a role for which she was paid $33,000.
Weaver emerged as a star and 18 years later she received a co-producer credit and $11m as part of her deal to play Ripley once more in Alien Resurrection.
In this fourth installment in the Alien franchise, scientists on the earth-bound ship Auriga bring to life a cloned Ripley and successfully extract the DNA from her unborn alien child to create the ultimate biological weapon.
Ripley’s rebirth leaves her tainted – though enhanced – with alien characteristics while the monsters she battles with grow ever more human.
Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet and writer Joss Whedon set up some complex themes: the growing similarity between Ripley and the alien monsters, cloning, Ripley’s memories of her previous life, and her deep-seated mistrust of androids and her fellow humans.
They then opt for a conventional chase-movie, complete with a hazardous underwater journey through flooded corridors.
Jeunet’s slick style, with its trademark comic-grotesque touches, is in marked contrast to David Fincher’s bleak, uncommercial Alien 3 (1992).