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A4DC Paris

Ripley 8 and Call on a ruined Earth in the Special Edition.

The Special Edition of Alien Resurrection is an extended version of the 1997 film, first released as part of the Alien Quadrilogy box set in 2003. It adds several new scenes to the film, including an alternate opening and ending, and also rearranges some scenes within the film. In all, it expands the run time by over 7 minutes. Its creation was overseen by Alien Resurrection director Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

History

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.[1] 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.

Differences

Here follows a complete rundown of the differences between the theatrical release of Alien Resurrection and the extended Special Edition.

  • Before the film begins, there is a brief introduction to the alternate cut by Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
A4DC bug

The alien bug.

  • The Special Edition starts with a completely new sequence for the opening credits, which replaces the distorted closeups of the failed clones seen in the theatrical cut. Instead, the film opens with an extreme closeup of a set of Xenomorph jaws, snarling at the viewer. The camera begins to pull back and it is quickly revealed that these are not in fact the jaws of a Xenomorph, but some kind of insect, which is almost immediately squashed by someone's finger. 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, which is different and much slower compared to the one seen in the theatrical version. Throughout the sequence, the film's opening credits appear on the screen.
A4DC awake

Ripley 8 wakes during surgery.

  • After Dr. Gediman tells the science team to close Ripley 8's incision, Dr. Sprague takes over at the medical station and prepares to carry out the procedure. However, Ripley 8 wakes up, grabs his arm inside the glove and snaps it.
  • In the theatrical cut, after Perez storms out of the room where he is watching Ripley 8's picture test, the scene continues to follow the General arguing with Gediman and Dr. Wren as they walk through the Auriga. In the Special Edition, the scene instead cuts back to the picture test, and we see Dr. Williamson show Ripley 8 a picture of a little girl. Ripley 8 first smiles, then becomes visibly distressed, clearly remembering Newt in some deep subconscious part of her mind. Gediman's first line from the scene where he and Wren walk through the ship with Perez is then played over the end of the new footage, before the scene cuts to the three men and the remainder of the sequence plays out as in the theatrical version.
  • The scene with Ripley 8 eating in the mess hall features extra dialogue. After Gediman tells her that she was created using blood samples taken from Fury 161, Ripley 8 repeats the name of the planet, leading Gediman to ask her if she remembers it. Later, when Wren enters and tells Gediman about Weyland-Yutani, he elaborates on the company's fate, explaining that they were bought out by Walmart several decades previously.
  • After the establishing shot of the Betty approaching the Auriga, the scenes introducing us to the vessel's crew are rearranged and recut — 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 dropping his knife into Vriess. Additionally, the content of these scenes is also altered:
    • The scene with Elgyn and Hillard on the bridge is longer in the Special Edition — after Elgyn gets up from his seat and instructs Hillard on how to approach the Auriga, he remains standing next to her, running his hand down her top and asking if there's anything else she wants. She replies that she could use a cup of coffee. Elgyn continues, "Anything else while your mouth's warm, I mean," but Hillard remains coy, asking for milk. At the end of the scene, Elgyn reaching up to a monitor on the ceiling is also extended, and we see him flick a switch and call down to Vriess and Call in the cargo hall, asking them if they're almost ready as they are about to dock.
    • A4DC joke

      "What has two thumbs, one eye, a pink tongue, and screws like a god?"

      Immediately after this, the theatrical cut's introductory shots of Vriess and Call working in the Betty's cargo bay are shown. However, when Johner would normally appear and drop his knife into Vriess' leg, the Special Edition instead shows a new scene where Vriess tells Call a joke — "What has two thumbs, one eye, a pink tongue, and screws like a god?"
    • Next, the scene where Elgyn talks with Christie as he readies his Wrist Guns is slightly shortened — Elgyn no longer asks Christie where the rest of the crew are at the end of the scene (as he has already radioed Vriess and Call in the hold in a previous addition).
    • Lastly, the scene where Johner drops his knife into Vriess' leg is also re-edited. The introductory shots of Vriess and Call at work are removed, as they were moved earlier in the Special Edition; instead, the scene begins with the shot of Johner from behind as he looks down at the others from the walkway. The rest of the scene also features several new lines of dialogue. After Johner justifies his actions by telling Vriess he didn't feel anything, a shot of Vriess looking hurt has been replaced with him angrily hurling a screwdriver at his tormentor. Following this, a shot of Call glaring at Johner has similarly been replaced with her calling him an "inbred motherfucker". After Call pulls the knife out of Vriess' thigh, Johner leans down and asks for it back. When Call fails to do so, Vriess tells her to let it go, pointing out that Johner is drunk on his homebrew. Finally, 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. When talking about Call, Elgyn tells the General what a competent mechanic she is, going on to point out that Vriess is attracted to her, stating, "Fine little ass like that can make a man walk, know what I mean?" Perez stares back at him, clearly not amused. 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.
  • The scene where the group finds Purvis is also extended with new dialogue. After Purivs screams, "What's in-fucking-side me!" a shot of Hillard, Wren, Call and Christie looking back at him is replaced with alternate footage, during which Wren shouts out, "A parasite! A foreign element." A little later, when Call says they should take Purvis with them, there is new dialogue from the rest of the group — Wren agrees, but Johner challenges Call's leadership, prompting a heated exchange with her. Vriess asks them both to calm down, after which Christie 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 kitchen. Christie explains that his guns will work underwater because they are "disposables". Distephano is impressed when Christie says his Wrist Guns are loaded with split-point ammunition for added damage. He goes on to explain disposables are popular with hitmen because they are simply discarded after use. Before they head underwater, Call sarcastically reminds everyone to take a deep breath.
  • After Call plugs into Father and recalibrates Earth's ground level in order to crash the Auriga, she additionally mentions new destination coordinates, noting that they are in an "uninhabited quadrant", and deactivates the ship's deceleration systems.
A4DC memories

Ripley 8 remembers Newt.

  • Before Distephano comes to collect Call and Ripley 8 from the chapel, Call gives some additional explanation for her self-imposed mission to stop the USM, saying that she couldn't watch humanity annihilate itself. She asks Ripley 8 if she understands, and she replies that she did once — she "tried to save people", but it "didn't work out", clearly struggling with vague memories she does not understand. She goes on to single out a girl who had bad dreams, saying that she tried to help her, but the girl died and now she can't even remember her name. After Distephano collects them, their conversation continues as they walk out of the room. They discuss their dreams, which Call is capable of having. Ripley 8 says that she dreams only of the Xenomorphs, and that she used to be afraid to sleep because of it; now her dreams no longer scare her because the reality when she wakes up is even worse.
  • After Johner kisses Vriess, the theatrical version ends with the Betty flying over Earth, with Ripley 8 and Call looking down at the luscious planet from a viewport. The Special Edition, however, shows the Betty setting down 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, but that "a person could get pretty lost around here if they wanted to". The scene ends with dialogue similar to that in the theatrical version — in both cuts, Ripley 8 points out that shes is a stranger here on Earth — but the Special Edition finishes with a camera shot from behind them showing a destroyed Paris.

Trivia

  • 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.[2]
  • 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.[3]

References

  1. Jean-Pierre Jeunet, David Giler, Walter Hill, Joss WhedonOne Step Beyond: Making Alien Resurrection (2003), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
  2. Erik Henry. Abandoning the Bug Opening (2010), 20th Century Fox [Blu-ray].
  3. Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Sylvain Despretz, Erik Henry. Ending After Ending After Ending (2010), 20th Century Fox [Blu-ray].