Alien: Resurrection
Film information

Jean-Pierre Jeunet


Joss Whedon


Sigourney Weaver
Winona Ryder
Ron Perlman
Dominique Pinon
Gary Dourdan

Release date(s)

November 26, 1997



Running time

105 Minutes


75 million

Alien: Resurrection is a 1997 film written by Joss Whedon, the fourth film in the Alien series. It is widely considered to be a huge improvement over Alien 3 which was overwhelmingly negatively received, but still inferior to Alien and Aliens. Although it was a financial success Whedon himself was disappointed with the film stating that whilst it had stuck to his story it was miscast and misinterpreted by the director. It was Whedon's first collaboration with Sigourney Weaver who would later recur in 'Cabin in the Woods'.


200 years after the events portrayed in Alien 3 Lieutenant Ellen Ripley is cloned by a group of military scientists aboard the spacecraft USS Auriga from a blood sample, the scientists separating her human side from the embryo of the Alien Queen she carries within her. A group of space pirates arrive aboard the ship with a group of kidnapped workers in suspended animation who are then impregnated by Facehuggers generated by the now adult Alien Queen. One of the pirates, Cal, attempts to kill the now adult Ripley in order to stop the Aliens being created but discovers she is too late. The Aliens escape and Ripley joins forces with the space pirates and surviving crew members to try to reach the pirate's ship, the Betty. As they fight for survival it is revealed that Ripley now has many of the characteristics of the Aliens such as acidic blood and increased speed and strength whilst Cal is revealed to be an android intent on saving mankind. At one point Ripley is captured by an Alien drone and carried off to the Alien Queen's lair in an extremely suggestive manner. After escaping she, Cal and two other surviving pirates eventually reach the Betty and Ripley defeats a bizarre alien/human hybrid born from the Alien Queen by using her acidic blood to break a window and have it sucked out into space. The Auriga crashes into Earth, destroying Angola and Madagascar in a huge explosion and wiping out the Aliens once and for all. The film ends with Ripley and Cal surveying the beauty of Earth, Ripley commenting that she is a stranger there herself.

Recurring Whedon ThemesEdit

  • The film ends with a cataclysmic disaster, the Auriga crashing into Earth and wiping out whole countries in southeast Africa.
  • Difficult moral choice faced by Ripley and Cal to crash the ship into Earth, destroying the Aliens once and for all.
  • Small group of seemingly helpless outcasts defeating an all powerful conspiracy.
  • Mass escape of captive monsters resulting in a battle with their captors.  
  • Sexual contact between human women and monsters.

Box OfficeEdit

The film is estimated to have cost $75million to make and grossed over $150million worldwide. Part of the initial costs was Sigourney Weaver's $11million paypacket for reappearing for her fourth and final time as Ripley.


  • This film provided Whedon the inspiration for his later series Firefly, also about a small group of renegade space pirates. Many have drawn comparison between the characters of Cal and Johner and the Firefly characters of River and Jayne.
  • At the end of this film Ripley has finally achieved her goals throughout the series, destroying the Aliens once and for all, finally reaching Earth, getting a ship, crew and surrogate daughter in Cal to replace those she lost in the previous films.   
  • The character of Cal continues the tradition of naming androids in the Alien series alphabetically, Ash in Alien, Bishop in Aliens, Cal in Alien;Resurrection and David in Prometheus.