The Special Edition of Alien Resurrection is an extended version of the 1997 film, released in 2003. It adds several extra scenes to the original theatrical version, including an alternate ending, and also rearranges some sequences within the film. The Special Edition extends the film's run time by over 7 minutes. Its creation was overseen by Alien Resurrection director Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
In 2003, at 20th Century Fox's behest, Jean-Pierre Jeunet created an alternate version of Alien Resurrection for the Alien Quadrilogy DVD box set. Included were the original opening and closing sequences, which were dropped from the movie before their special effects were completed; the effects were finished for the Special Edition DVD release. Unlike the other three alternate versions of the films in the Alien franchise, the Special Edition of Alien Resurrection did not add or alter any significant plot points in the film, and as such is the least substantial of the four alternate cuts.
Here follows a complete rundown of the differences between the theatrical release of Alien Resurrection and the extended Special Edition.
- The Special Edition begins with a completely new sequence for the opening credits, which replaces the strange, distorted images of the failed clones seen in the theatrical cut. Instead, the film starts with an extreme closeup on a set of Xenomorph jaws, before the camera pulls back and we realize they are not the teeth of a Xenomorph, but some type of insect. Almost immediately, a finger squashes the bug. The camera continues pulling back and we see the culprit, a bored-looking USM soldier strapped into a chair and drinking a soft drink. Having finished his drink, he scrapes some of the mashed insect into his straw and blows it at the camera, where it splatters onto a window. The camera continues to pull back, showing that the soldier is sat in a module attached to the Auriga's hull. The shot then continues uninterrupted into a lengthy flypast of the ship, the end of which is also seen in the theatrical version. Throughout the sequence, the film's opening credits appear on the screen.
- After the Chestburster is removed from Ripley 8, the science team prepare to close the incision. However, Ripley 8 wakes up, grabs Dr. Sprague's arm and snaps it.
- Ripley 8's picture test is extended, and she is shown a picture of a young girl by Dr. Williamson. Ripley 8 becomes visibly distressed, clearly remembering Newt in some deep subconscious part of her mind.
- Whilst talking with Dr. Gediman in the mess hall, Ripley 8 also seems to have vague memories of Fury 161. Later in the same scene, Dr. Wren elaborates on the Weyland-Yutani Corporation's fate, explaining they were bought out by Walmart several decades previously.
- The scenes introducing us to the crew of the Betty are rearranged in the Special Edition — in the theatrical version, we first see Christie preparing his Wrist Guns, then Johner dropping his knife into Vriess' leg, and finally Elgyn and Hillard on the vessel's bridge. In the Special Edition, the scene on the bridge comes first, followed by a new scene with Vriess and Call in the cargo hold, then Christie checking his guns, and finally Johner with his knife. Additionally, most of these scenes are extended:
- The scene with Elgyn and Hillard on the bridge as they approach the Auriga is longer, containing extra dialogue where Elgyn flirts with Hillard.
- Following this, the new scene shows Vriess telling Call a dirty joke as they work in the cargo hold.
- Lastly, the scene where Johner drops his knife into Vriess' leg is also extended. After seeing the knife in his leg, Vriess angrily hurls a screwdriver at Johner, whom Call furiously accuses of being inbred. Vriess then tells her to forget it, pointing out that Johner is drunk on his homebrew. After Johner has left at the end of the scene, Vriess additionally says to Call, "It's about time we start associating with a better class of people," before going back to work.
- The meeting between Perez and Elgyn is longer. Elgyn talks more about Call, mentioning that he knows Vriess is attracted to her. Later, Perez sets conditions for the Betty's crew before agreeing to let them stay for a few days, demanding that they stay out of restricted areas and refrain from causing trouble or fighting. Only after Elgyn agrees does he permit them to stay.
- When Purvis is desperately asking the others what is inside him, Wren shouts out, "A parasite! A foreign element," before Ripley 8 explains what the Chestburster is. Before they leave the room, Call and Johner argue about who should be in charge of the group of survivors. Christie asserts his authority and elects to bring Purvis along, but makes it clear he will kill him if he "gets twitchy". As they leave, Wren beckons Purvis to him.
- Distephano and Christie talk about their weapons before the swim through the flooded mess hall. Christie explains that his guns are "disposables", which are designed to be thrown away when they are empty. Distephano is impressed when Christie tells him such weapons are popular with hitmen. Before they head underwater, Call reminds everyone to take a deep breath.
- The sequence in the chapel between Ripley 8 and Call is extended with some extra lines of dialogue. Ripley 8 mentions a little girl she used to know (Newt), clearly struggling with vague memories she does not understand. She says that she tried to protect the girl, but she failed. As they leave the chapel they discuss their dreams, which Call is capable of having. Ripley 8 says that she used to be afraid of dreaming because she always dreamt of the Xenomorphs, but now her dreams don't scare her because the reality when she wakes up is even worse.
- The theatrical version ends with the Betty flying over Earth, with Ripley 8 and Call looking down at a luscious planet. The Special Edition, however, shows the Betty landing in a desolate wasteland. Ripley 8 and Call sit down outside to discuss what they should do next. Call mentions that the military is sure to come for them soon. The scene ends with dialogue similar to that in the theatrical version — Ripley 8 and Call both point out that they have never been to Earth before — but the Special Edition finishes with a camera shot from behind them showing a destroyed Paris.
- Jean-Pierre Jeunet allegedly secured his position as director by explaining the "bug opening" he planned to incorporate to 20th Century Fox executives. Ironically, the sequence was ultimately cut from the theatrical release of the film due to budget constraints.
- The footage of Ripley 8 and Call on Earth that ends the Special Edition was originally filmed with them sitting in a snowy landscape, as can be seen in behind the scenes footage. For the extended version of the film, the terrain and snow had to be digitally recolored to match the apocalyptic desert setting.
- ↑ Jean-Pierre Jeunet, David Giler, Walter Hill, Joss Whedon. One Step Beyond: Making Alien Resurrection (2003), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
- ↑ Erik Henry. Abandoning the Bug Opening (2010), 20th Century Fox [Blu-ray].
- ↑ Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Sylvain Despretz, Erik Henry. Ending After Ending After Ending (2010), 20th Century Fox [Blu-ray].