List of Alien characters
Alien, a science-fiction action horror franchise, tells the story of humanity's repeated encounters with a hostile endoparasitoid species of Aliens. Set between the 21st and 24th centuries and over the course of several generations, the film series is predominantly centered around an ensemble of characters' struggles for survival against the vicious Aliens, while also contending with the unscrupulous will of the greedy megacorporation Weyland-Yutani.
The main series includes the quadrilogy consisting of Alien (1979), Aliens (1986), Alien 3 (1992), Alien: Resurrection (1997), which depict the character Ellen Ripley's ongoing struggle against the Aliens. Ripley is the sole survivor of an Alien's rampage aboard the space freighter Nostromo, which leads her to a series of conflicts with both the species and Weyland-Yutani. Ripley's struggle forms the basis for the plot of the main series.
The prequel series, consisting of Prometheus (2012) and the upcoming Alien: Covenant (2017), depicts humanity's genesis at the hands of an ancient extraterrestrial race called "Engineers" and the origin story of the Aliens. The story begins with the search for God by an archaeologist, Elizabeth Shaw, who discovers with her expedition that the Engineers sought to eradicate humanity with a mutagen that serves as a chemical precursor to the Alien strain.
- 1 Summary
- 2 Introduced in Alien (1979)
- 3 Introduced in Aliens (1986)
- 4 Introduced in Alien 3 (1992)
- 5 Introduced in Alien: Resurrection (1997)
- 6 Introduced in Prometheus (2012)
- 7 Introduced in Alien: Covenant (2017)
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- This table shows the recurring characters and the actors who have portrayed them throughout the franchise.
- A dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the season, or that the character's presence in the season has not yet been announced.
- A C indicates a cameo appearance.
- A P indicates an appearance in onscreen photographs only.
- A D indicates an appearance in deleted scenes only.
- A V indicates a voice only role.
- A M indicates a motion-capture only role.
(in order of billing)
|Arthur Dallas||Tom Skerritt||Tom SkerrittP||Tom Skerritt|
|Ellen Louise Ripley
Ripley Clone 8
|Sigourney Weaver||Sigourney WeaverC||Sigourney Weaver|
|Joan Lambert||Veronica Cartwright||Veronica CartwrightP||Veronica Cartwright|
|Samuel Brett||Harry Dean Stanton||Harry Dean StantonP||Harry Dean Stanton|
|Gilbert Kane||John Hurt||John HurtP||Mentioned|
|Ash||Ian Holm||Ian HolmP||Ian Holm
Dave B. MitchellV
|Dennis Parker||Yaphet Kotto||Yaphet KottoP||Yaphet Kotto|
|Aliens / Xenomorphs||Bolaji Badejo||Carl Toop||Tom Woodruff, Jr.||To be announced||Appeared|
|Jones the Cat||Various animal performers||AppearedC|
|Corporal Dwayne Hicks||Michael Biehn||Michael BiehnP||Michael Biehn|
|Carter J. Burke||Paul Reiser||Mentioned|
Bishop II (Michael Weyland)
|Lance Henriksen||Lance Henriksen|
|Rebecca "Newt" Jorden||Carrie Henn||Danielle Edmond||Appeared|
|Private William Hudson||Bill Paxton||Andrew Bowen|
|Lieutenant Scott Gorman||William Hope|
|Private Vasquez||Jenette Goldstein|
|Sergeant Apone||Al Matthews||Al Matthews|
|Amanda Ripley||Elizabeth InglisC P D||Andrea DeckV
|Leonard Dillon||Charles S. Dutton|
|Jonathan Clemens||Charles Dance|
|Harold Andrews||Brian Glover|
|Francis Aaron||Ralph Brown|
|Walter Golic||Paul McGann|
|Robert Morse||Danny Webb|
|Annalee Call||Winona Ryder|
|Dom Vriess||Dominique Pinon|
|Frank Elgyn||Michael Wincott|
|Sabra Hillard||Kim Flowers|
|General Martin Perez||Dan Hedaya|
|Dr. Mason Wren||J. E. Freeman|
|Dr. Jonathan Gediman||Brad Dourif|
|Vincent Distephano||Raymond Cruz|
|Larry Purvis||Leland Orser|
|Elizabeth Shaw||Noomi Rapace|
|David 8||Michael Fassbender|
|Meredith Vickers||Charlize Theron|
|Peter Weyland||Guy Pearce|
|Charlie Holloway||Logan Marshall-Green|
Introduced in Alien (1979)
Arthur Koblenz Dallas (portrayed by Tom Skerritt) is the captain of the Nostromo and the only human crew member with access to MOTHER, the on-board computer. Upon receiving the distress signal from the Engineer ship, the Derelict, Dallas follows the protocol of detouring the Nostromo away from its course, in order to investigate the beacon. After the Alien has hatched from Gilbert Kane's chest and murdered Samuel Brett, Dallas opts to enter the ship's air ducts, to lure it to the airlock and eject it into space. He is subsequently attacked by the Alien and disappears, leaving behind only his flamethrower.
When Tom Skerritt first read the screenplay for Alien, he declined to be involved, as he was unimpressed with the writing quality and the low budget. After the screenplay was edited and the budget enhanced, Skerritt was approached again, which prompted him to sign on. Halfway through production, he approached the writer and executive producer Ronald Shusett, asking if he could trade his salary for half a percentage point of royalties. One prominent scene cut from the film features Ellen Ripley detouring from her escape from the Nostromo, to discover Dallas alive in the Alien nest, which she destroys, as an act of mercy. Skerritt remarked that the scene was cut, largely because it was not up to par in quality and because it disrupted the pace of Ripley's escape. The scene was included in the 2003 director's cut.
Ellen Louise Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is the primary protagonist of the main series of the Alien franchise. The mother of Amanda Ripley serving as warrant officer aboard the Nostromo, she and the cat Jonesy are the sole survivors of the expedition. After putting herself and the cat in cryosleep, she is rescued fifty-seven years later and subsequently relieved of duty by the Weyland-Yutani Corporation for the destruction of the Nostromo and her outlandish claims about the Alien. After communication is lost with LV-426, Ripley is sent alongside a unit of Colonial Marines aboard the ship Sulaco to investigate, leading to the loss of the entire expedition, save for Ripley, Corporal Hicks, the orphan Newt and the android Bishop. While in cryosleep aboard the Sulaco, Ripley is impregnated with a Queen by a facehugger, which also triggers a fire, causing the ship to crash on Fiorina 161. As the lone survivor of the Sulaco, Ripley helps the prisoners incarcerated on the planet to fight and defeat the Alien. Weyland-Yutani arrives to claim the Queen incubated in Ripley, prompting her to sacrifice herself by diving into the furnace.
When Ridley Scott was brought on to direct the original Alien film, the character of Ripley was a male hero. Scott requested that the character be changed to a woman to create juxtaposition with the Alien and make her survival surprising. Sigourney Weaver, a Broadway actress, was in consideration for the role of Lambert when Scott pushed for her to take up the leading role of Ripley. With the 1986 release of Aliens, Ripley widely came to be recognized as one of the most critically praised and influential female characters in film. John Scalzi, president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, called in an AMC Networks column in 2011 that he viewed Ripley as being the best science fiction character of all time, for being dynamic and relatable. In 2008, the American Film Institute's recognized Ripley in "AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes & Villains" as the second-greatest female protagonist, behind Clarice Starling, and eighth-greatest protagonist overall.
Joan Marie Lambert (Veronica Cartwright) is the navigator of the Nostromo and the only other woman on the ship besides Ripley. Disinclined to taking risks beyond the confines of her console, she resents being chosen as one of the team to explore the Derelict. Following Kane's infestation by the facehugger, she berates Ripley for her refusing to allow her and the rest of the team aboard. When the Alien begins to kill her crew mates, Lambert insists that they evacuate the Nostromo. While preparing to depart the Nostromo aboard a shuttle, Lambert and Parker are confronted by the Alien, which kills the two of them. During Ripley's ICC tribunal fifty-seven years after the first incident, a screen details the deceased members of the Nostromo crew, including Lambert, who is revealed to have been a Trans woman.
In the original draft of Alien, Lambert was a comic relief character, which attracted Sigourney Weaver to originally play the character, before the screenplay was edited to make her stern and humorless. After this point, Veronica Cartwright expressed interest in portraying Ripley; she auditioned for the part and met with director Ridley Scott. She was told she had "the part", which she and her agent interpreted as the Ripley role, but were corrected about it being for Lambert. Cartwright was initially resistant to taking up the part, as she did not like Lambert's serious demeanor, but after talking with the film's producers about Lambert representing a point-of-view character for the audience, she accepted. For Cartwright's performance of the character Lambert, she won the Saturn Award in 1980 for Best Supporting Actress
Samuel Elias Brett (Harry Dean Stanton) is an engineering technician on board the Nostromo and a good friend of his engineering chief, Parker. He persistently angles for the increased pay and bonus awards he feels are due. While the crew searches for the Alien, Brett attempts to retrieve the cat Jones, which inadvertently prompts him to encounter the fully matured Alien, which kills him and drags him into an air duct.
When Harry Dean Stanton first auditioned for the role of Brett, he forewarned director Ridley Scott that he was not a fan of science fiction or horror films, to which Scott responded by saying that he was not either, but he expected Alien to work well. According to Stanton, he was pleased with the film and claims it is one for which he is best recognized, alongside Pretty in Pink. Several scenes featuring Brett were deleted from the original cut, including Ripley and Parker witnessing his death, as well as his cocooned corpse being featured in the Alien's lair. Both these scenes were incorporated into the 2003 release of the director's cut. Writer Dan O'Bannon stated that this scene was meant to infer that Brett's body was becoming an Alien incubator.
Gilbert Ward "Thomas" Kane (John Hurt) is the Executive Officer aboard the Nostromo. During the investigation of the Engineer ship, the Derelict, he incautiously moves to get a closer look at one of the eggs encountered, prompting a facehugger to attach itself to his face and, unbeknownst to him and to the crew, impregnates him with an Alien embryo. He remains unconscious while the creature is attached until it after it dies and falls off. During the dinner after, as Kane is enjoying dinner with his crew mates, he convulses and an infant Alien unexpectedly bursts through his chest, killing him.
Director Ridley Scott originally cast Jon Finch for the role of Kane, after John Hurt declined, due to a scheduling conflict. Partway through filming, Finch suffered a diabetic attack from not taking his insulin to counter his significant Coca-Cola intake on set. As a result, Scott once more reached out to John Hurt, who accepted and replaced Finch for the remainder of the shoot. The character Kane is most associated with the "chestbursting" scene. Prior to the single take of the scene, the actors were given minimal forewarning about the scene's details, with the screenplay only specifying that the "creature emerges". John Hurt was connected to a prosthetic body with the bursting Alien prop tucked away with meat and fake blood. When the scene was shot, the cast reacted dramatically, with Veronica Cartwright in particular being hit with fake blood in her mouth and falling backwards.
Ash (Ian Holm) is science officer aboard the Nostromo whose duties include administering medical treatment, conducting biological research and investigating any alien life forms the crew may encounter. Abruptly assigned to replace the Nostromo's previous medical officer for the return journey from Thedus to Earth, Ash is secretly an android tasked by the Weyland-Yutani Corporation to ensure that the mysterious signal emanating from LV-426 is investigated. When Kane is infested by an Alien facehugger, Ash breaks quarantine protocol by allowing him to be brought on board. Ash assaults Ripley after the ship's computer, MOTHER, reveals that Ash's special orders are to ensure the return of the Alien to Weyland-Yutani's laboratories, even at the expense of the crew. He is disabled by Parker, revealing his true identity as an android. Ash's mangled body is briefly powered back up by the crew, so that he can confirm his directive and assure them that they cannot defeat the Alien. His body is incinerated by Parker shortly after.
Ash was not present in the original screenplay written by the franchise's creators Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett, but was conceptualized by David Giler and Walter Hill, after Brandywine Productions acquired it. Giler and Hill believed Alien required a secondary story element, though O'Bannon stated in the film's audio commentary that he viewed it as an unnecessary addition. Shusett, however, would go on to praise Giler and Hill's addition of the Ash story line in the 2003 documentary The Beast Within: The Making of 'Alien, with him calling it "one of the best things in the movie". In the special edition DVD's audio commentary, director Ridley Scott interprets some of Ash's inhuman behavioral patterns, such as the character attempting to suffocate Ellen Ripley with a rolled up pornographic magazine, to Freudian sexual frustrations he experiences from not being anatomically correct. Critic Roz Kaveney analyzes the character of Ash in From Alien to The Matrix: Reading Science Fiction Film, stating that she regards him as a menacing robot who exists before his creators would impose programming alluded to Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics.
Dennis Monroe Parker (Yaphet Kotto) is the chief engineer aboard the Nostromo, with Brett as his assistant. Throughout his time aboard the vessel, he relentlessly demands bonuses for investigating the Derelict's distress beacon. Following Dallas' fateful confrontation with the Alien, Parker investigates, only finding the flamethrower left behind. When Ash attacks Ripley, he and Lambert save Ripley and incapacitate the android by decapitating it. After Ripley extracts the meaning of Ash's directive to allow the crew to die, in order to preserve the Alien, Parker uses the flamethrower to incinerate the remains. He and Lambert are killed by the Alien when it surprises them during their attempt to flee aboard the shuttle.
Yaphet Kotto was offered the role of Parker simultaneous with lucrative offers from two other productions. Though his agent advised against accepting the role in Alien, due to the remuneration not being stipulated, Kotto opted to accept the role. In order to enhance the on-screen tension between Parker and Ripley, director Ridley Scott privately instructed Kotto to antagonize Sigourney Weaver on-set.
The extraterrestrial species commonly referred to as "Aliens", (technically known as "Xenomorphs"), are the primary, titular antagonists of the Alien franchise. Introduced in the first installment, Aliens are bred through the laying of eggs by a Queen, which produces a facehugger, which latches onto and impregnates its prey with an embryo, which in turn produces an Alien that takes on vague characteristics of its host and ejects itself from the rib cage, killing its host in the process. Described as "pure" by the android Ash, the Alien's entire motivation is to pursue the continued survival of its species, which commonly entails the elimination of creatures that may pose a threat, such as humans. While rudimentary in intelligence, the Aliens are extremely resilient, with few apparent methods to kill them.
As writers Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett brainstormed for the original film, they concluded that the most original way to approach the Alien would be to have it impregnate a male orally, as a metaphor for rape. O'Bannon suggested to director Ridley Scott that his collaborator from the failed Dune adaptation, Swiss surrealist artist H. R. Giger, be recruited for designing the Alien. Scott chose the sketch Necronom IV from Giger's Necronomicon as the basis for the Alien, due to the drawing's sexual ambiguity and phallic overtones. The "Deacon", a creature predating the Alien in the canonical timeline that shares several biological traits appears in the final scene of Prometheus, after it explodes from a deceased Engineer's chest, which was impregnated by a Trilobite, which in turn was conceived by Elizabeth Shaw having sexual intercourse with an infected Charlie Holloway. Designer Neal Scanlan explained in the book Prometheus: Art of the Film that the breed borrows physical traits from the various stages of the life cycle, such as the femininity from Shaw. A number of performers have played Aliens throughout the series, including Bolaji Bodejo in Alien, Carl Toop in Aliens, and Tom Woodruff, Jr. in Alien 3, Alien: Resurrection, as well as the Alien vs. Predator franchise.
Jones, nicknamed "Jonesy", is an American Shorthair that is the ship's cat aboard the Nostromo, that is intended for rodent extermination. After the birth and escape of the Alien, Jones is detected by the crew, which they recognize for running the risk of interference, as the motion detectors could misappropriate the readings of Jones' movements for the Alien's. Jones is located by Brett in the cargo room, where the Alien kills him as Jones silently watches. When the remaining crew members prepare to escape the ship, Ripley collects Jones in a pet carrier, but has to temporarily abandon him, as the Alien approaches her position. The Alien inspects Jones but leaves him alone, as the cat poses no threat. Ripley retrieves Jones and flees with him aboard a shuttle. Jones sleeps with Ripley in cryosleep for fifty-seven years, until they are rescued. Jones remains Ripley's pet for the duration of her new employment, until she departs on the Sulaco, leaving him behind.
In Alien, a total of four cats were utilized, with each one being for specific catlike behaviors, such as scampering and hissing. According to director Ridley Scott's audio commentary from the Alien DVD, in order to capture Jones' fearful reaction to the Alien, a screen was placed between the performing cat and a German Shepard. When the screen between the animal actors was removed, the cat immediately hissed. In 1980, literary theorist James H. Kavanaugh published in a commonly-sourced MIT Press journal, "Son of a Bitch": Feminism, Humanism, and Science in "Alien", that within a Marxist framework, Jones is one of the four integral characters of the story, alongside Ripley, the Alien and Ash. According to Kavanaugh, while the Alien represents the "anti-human" element, with Ash being its narrative dependent, Ripley represents the human element, with Jones representing the dependent childlike element to complement her maternal instincts.
The Engineers, also known as "Space Jockeys", are an ancient race of large humanoids that created humanity from their own DNA during Earth's Primordial Era. In Alien, a fossilized corpse of an Engineer is discovered in the pilot's seat of the Derelict, with its suit and helmet interpreted as bones. This body is the first victim of the Aliens identified on screen. The Engineers play a central role in the first prequel installment, Prometheus, with their biology and intentions for infecting the human race with an alien contagion and mutagen revealed. In the film, a last surviving Engineer on LV-223 is awakened and immediately looks to resume his mission of delivering the substance to Earth, only to be stopped by the survivors of the human expedition.
For the appearance of the Engineer pilot in Alien, a twenty-six foot-tall set piece was constructed at Bray Studios, with director Ridley Scott and cinematographer Derek Vanlint's children playing the body doubles, in order to exaggerate the size of the corpse. In the audio commentary included in the twentieth anniversary re-release of Alien in 1999, director Ridley Scott stated that he always envisioned the pilot in the original film as having been driving a "battlewagon", with a haul of biological weapons and that he wanted to explore the mythos of the species further in potential fifth and sixth installments in the series. In an interview with Fandango in 2012, Scott described the Engineers as being "tall and elegant", with them representing "dark angels", but not necessarily God, in the context of the franchise.
Introduced in Aliens (1986)
Corporal Dwayne Hicks
Corporal Dwayne Hicks (Michael Biehn) is Sergeant Apone's second-in-command who assumes command after Apone and the majority of the Colonial Marines are captured by the Aliens and commanding officer Lieutenant Gorman is incapacitated. Hicks looks for options for holding out with the survivors of the Hadley's Hope colony until aid may arrive. Hicks and Ripley bond while he teaches her how to operate a pulse rifle. As the survivors escape, he is wounded by a spray of acid blood from an Alien that hits his chest and face. He is among the four remaining survivors from the incident. Hicks is apparently killed during the crash of the Sulaco in Alien 3, with a body having been found impaled in his cryochamber by a broken support brace. In the video game Aliens: Colonial Marines, he is kidnapped by mercenaries working for the Weyland-Yutani Corporation. His body is replaced by an unnamed victim used to cover-up the kidnapping. Hicks is rescued by Colonial Marines.
James Remar was initially cast for the role of Corporal Hicks, though he vacate the role for the official explanation of "artistic differences" with director James Cameron. In a Sidebar podcast, however, Remar clarified that the actual reason for his departure from the project was that Cameron terminated his contract when he was arrested for drug possession. Producer Gale Anne Hurd contacted Michael Biehn, who immediately accepted the role and flew overseas for filming. In one of the earliest drafts of the screenplay for Alien 3, Hicks was intended to assume the role of central protagonist, while Ripley would have a minor role. As the final draft of the screenplay killed off the character of Hicks, Biehn was never approached about the possibility of appearing in the film. Upon becoming aware that his character would have such a minor role and that his likeness would be used, Biehn and his agent contacted 20th Century Fox and threatened the studio with a lawsuit, unless they compensated him to a degree comparable to Aliens, which they obliged to.
Carter J. Burke
Carter J. Burke (Paul Reiser) is the Special Projects Director of Weyland-Yutani Corporation's Special Services Division and the main antagonist of Aliens. After informing Ellen Ripley about her daughter's death and hearing her account of the Nostromo incident, Burke secretly uses the information to have LV-426's colonists rendezvous with the Derelict and cause a massive Alien outbreak. Burke persuades Ripley to join the Colonial marine expedition- to specifically destroy and not extract specimens- as an adviser, in exchange for her regaining her flight license. He accompanies the squad aboard Sulaco, to safeguard the company's investment in the terraforming colony. Burke's ulterior motivations are uncovered by Ripley, though he reasons that the Aliens are an important species they cannot exterminate and that the facility is a significant investment. Burke attempts to have Ripley and Newt impregnated by imprisoned facehuggers, but the Colonial Marines intervene. While most of the survivors insist that Burke is executed, Ripley protests, when the Aliens cut the power and utilize an architectural design flaw to break into the room. Burke escapes the room and leaves the rest of the group to die, when he is confronted by an Alien in the locked medlab and his screams are subsequently heard by the others outside.
According to Paul Reiser, director James Cameron cast him in a villainous role, as featuring a comedian with previously friendly roles would break typecasting. By Reiser's own account, however, Cameron failed to introduce Burke as a surprising villain, due to his suspicious demeanor and dialogue during the first scenes featuring him. In the 2004 literary analysis of the Alien franchise, Alien Woman: The Making of Lt. Ellen Ripley, authors Jason Smith and Ximena Gallardo-C. describe Burke as a "monster" who is the biproduct of organizational culture, with him being perfectly willing to have Ripley and Newt impregnated for capital gain, due to him perceiving them for having "'natural' wombs". In a deleted scene taking place during Ripley's incursion into the Alien hive, Ripley discovers a cocooned Burke, who reveals that he has been impregnated, to which Ripley replies by handing him a grenade. The scene was first revealed in the 2010 Blu-ray edition of the Alien Anthology.
Bishop (Lance Henriksen) is the android executive officer assigned to the Sulaco and is primarily responsible for planetary maneuvering. When Bishop introduces himself to Ripley, he clarifies that his programming calls for complete loyalty, unlike Ash, though Ripley is initially distrustful. After most of the Colonial Marines are wiped out by the Aliens on LV-426, Bishop acts as a medic and technician. He painstakingly ensures that the company's dropship receives Ripley, Newt and Hicks. Upon boarding the Sulaco, Bishop is impaled and ripped in half by the stowaway Alien Queen. When Ripley defeats the Queen by opening the airlock, Bishop saves Newt. He is subsequently placed in cryosleep with Ripley, Newt and Hicks. When the Sulaco crashes into Fury 161 in Alien 3, Bishop is damaged beyond repair and thrown into the prison's landfill. He is partially repaired by Ripley for speech and memory functions, so he can disclose the events leading to the crash. He requests that Ripley shut him down permanently, which she complies with.
Lance Henriksen was one of the several actors, alongside Michael Biehn and Bill Paxton cast in Aliens who previously collaborated with director James Cameron on The Terminator. In Roz Kaveney's analysis of Ash in From Alien to The Matrix: Reading Science Fiction Film, she draws parallels to Bishop, as having been the quintessential representation of the development of the Three Laws of Robotics. Ash's programming allows and encourages the harm of humans, whereas Bishop puts the lives of humans above all else, as a result of the First Law of Robotics. In 2005, Bishop's portrayal was studied by LeiLani Nishime of the University of Texas Press, for the theoretical dramatization of how humans would deal with the presence of an "Other", with regards to Ripley's initial apprehension towards being in close proximity with a synthetic, after her life-threatening experience with Ash. According to a journal by Anton Karl Kozlovic of the University of Nebraska Omaha, Bishop's altruistic actions that include rescuing Newt and Ripley juxtapose the preexisting trend of technophobia in films predating the 1990s.
Rebecca "Newt" Jorden
Rebecca Jorden (Carrie Henn), nicknamed "Newt", is the only surviving colonist of LV-426. She resides within in the air ducts of the Hadley's Hope compound, when she is discovered by the Colonial Marines' party. Despite being in a state of shock, Newt bonds with the party, particularly with Ripley, who she identifies as a mother figure. During the survivors' escape from LV-426, Newt is abducted by the Aliens, but Ripley hastily enters their hive and rescues her from the clutches of the Alien Queen. Soon after, the Alien Queen confronts the survivors aboard the Sulaco, with Newt as her primary target, but Ripley intervenes and defeats her. Newt is subsequently put in cryosleep. During the crash of the Sulaco in Alien 3, Newt drowns from water flooding her chamber while she sleeps. Out of fear of an Alien infestation, an autopsy is performed on Newt's body, but no trace of anything beyond drowning is uncovered.
According to the casting director for Aliens, Newt was the most challenging role to cast, as five hundred schoolchildren auditioned, with frequent issues pertaining to their habits of smiling while reading their lines. Carrie Henn was discovered by a casting agent while she was living with her father who was stationed at RAF Lakenheath, near the village of Lakenheath in Suffolk, United Kingdom. The casting agent notified the producers and Henn won the role after auditioning at Pinewood Studios. For her portrayal of Newt, Henn received a Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor, though she chose not to further pursue an acting career and went on to become a schoolteacher in Atwater, California. The decision to kill off Newt in Alien 3 was met with widespread outcry. In particular, the director of Aliens, James Cameron, described the decision as a "Temple of Doom slap in the face".
Private William Hudson
Private William Hudson (Bill Paxton) is the Colonial Marines squad's jokester and comtech expert. Though initially arrogant and overconfident, he soon cracks under the large amounts of stress during the failed incursion into the Alien hive. He despairs and panics about the situation, until Ripley and Newt reassure him, giving him to willpower to regain his composure. Hudson fights bravely to the end in the colony's operation room, where the survivors of the party make their final stand. He is pulled through a floor grate by an Alien while he is providing cover fire.
Bill Paxton was visiting his then-girlfriend Louise Newbury in the United Kingdom around July 4, 1985, when he went to Pinewood Studios to audition for director James Cameron, who he was already a friend of from previous projects. Though Paxton was excited for the role, he found the character to be one of the most difficult to portray, as Hudson is a perpetually high-energy individual. The character Hudson is best known for his delivery of the line, "Game over man". According to Paxton, he ad libbed the line by preparing to say it shortly before shooting began that day, without asking Cameron for permission. For his portrayal of Hudson, Paxton won the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor at the 14th Saturn Awards.
Lieutenant Scott Gorman
Lieutenant Scott Gorman (William Hope) is the commanding officer of the mission to LV-426. As as inexperienced leader, the Colonial Marines do not take kindly to Gorman. Though he provides adequate command when the Colonial Marines initially secure the emptied colony, he quickly loses control of the situation when the Aliens ambush his troops. Ripley assumes control of the situation by driving the command vehicle, resulting in Gorman being knocked unconscious. Upon regaining consciousness, he defers command to Hicks for the defense of the colony. During the Aliens' assault on the operations room, Gorman attempts to rescue Vasquez from the oncoming Aliens, but his pistol runs out of ammunition. Realizing that they are trapped, Gorman and Vasquez embrace as they detonate a grenade, taking a number of Aliens with them.
Simultaneous with being offered the role of Gorman, William Hope was offered a prominent role in Stanley Kubrick's war film, Full Metal Jacket. He turned down the role in Full Metal Jacket, in favor of Aliens, but still interacted with members of the other production's cast and crew, as both films were shot in close proximity of the Battersea Power Station in Nine Elms, Battersea in London, United Kingdom. While the rest of the cast who portrayed Colonial Marines- with the exception of latecomer Michael Biehn- underwent several weeks of training with United States Marines, Hope was absent. Director James Cameron stressed that he wanted Hope to be separated, so he would naturally be perceived as an outsider, to complement Gorman's inexperience on-screen.
Private Vasquez (Jenette Goldstein) is a smartgunner on the Sulaco, partnered with Drake. Vasquez is one of the few survivors of the assault on the hive who helps seal off the complex from the Aliens. She is injured when acidic blood from an Alien shot at point blank range lands on her leg, immobilizing her. When Gorman returns to aid Vasquez, she and Gorman are surrounded, so she shares a fond parting quip and cooperates with him to detonate a grenade.
Jenette Goldstein was unemployed and bodybuilding in the United Kingdom, when producer Gale Anne Hurd called her and was impressed with her bodybuilder's physique. After securing the role, Goldstein trained for the role with real-life Marine Al Matthews. The casting proved to be controversial as Goldstein, a Jewish-American actress, was to play a Latina and as such, was put in makeup to distinctly darken her complexion, in addition to other cosmetic applications. Goldstein's interpretation of the character is that she is "universal" with her ambiguity, in terms of sexuality and masculinity. Scholar Judith Halberstam discusses Vasquez in her book titled Female Masculinity, claiming that the character is an ideal example of female masculinity in film, due to her frequent displays of bravado and violent death. For her portrayal of Vasquez, Goldstein won the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress at the 14th Saturn Awards
Gunnery Sergeant Apone (Al Matthews) is the squad leader of the Colonial Marines sent to investigate LV-426. During the first incursion into the atmospheric processor, he enforces Gorman's orders not to use pulse rifle and smartgun ammunition. Shortly after finding a still-alive cocooned colonist whose chest bursts to reveal an Alien, Apone grabs a flamethrower from Frost to incinerate it. In the subsequent Alien attack, he is captured alive. Hudson later points out that the readouts on the APC show he was not killed in the attack; thus, he was presumably impregnated by an Alien and either died when the atmosphere processor exploded or from an Alien gestating in his body.
According to Al Matthews, in an interview with Alien Experience in 2006, he was acting in The American Way in the United Kingdom- having left the United States for the treatment of his fellow Vietnam War veterans- when he was offered the role of Apone by director James Cameron. Using his military experience, Matthews consulted with the film crew and helped give direction to the actors portraying Colonial Marines. According to fellow Aliens actor Daniel Kash, Matthews greatly improvised his performance and based it off of his behaviors during the Vietnam War. The portrayal of Apone in Aliens was hugely influential to the military science fiction subgenre, with the stereotype of the charismatic black commander being replicated in other works, such as the depiction of Sergeant Avery Johnson in the Halo franchise.
Amanda Ripley-McClaren, nicknamed "Amy" by her mother, is the daughter of Ellen Ripley. The character is posthumously introduced in Aliens, with her having died two years before the events of the film, at the age of sixty-six. Ripley serves as the player character in the 2014 video game Alien: Isolation, which takes place fifteen years after the events of Alien and forty-two years before the events of Aliens. After receiving a notification of the flight recorder from the Nostromo being located, Ripley joins a crew that embarks towards the Sevastopol space station, where she encounters the Aliens that have run amok. Ripley successfully escapes the station, which is destroyed when it falls into the gravitational well of the Jovian planet KG348. The picture model for Ripley in Aliens is Sigourney Weaver's mother, Elizabeth Inglis and the depiction in Aien: Isolation featured the voice of Andrea Deck and the motion capture performance of Kezia Burrows.
Amanda Ripley's introduction in Aliens was not included in the theatrical release version of the film, as 20th Century Fox had concerns about the film's running time. Sigourney Weaver reacted negatively to the cut, as she viewed the scene as critical to Ellen Ripley's character development and bonding with the orphaned Newt. While conceptualizing Alien: Isolation, Creative Assembly initially desired to have a female protagonist, though they only decided to utilize the character of Amanda when they realized that it would be the most astute way to focus on Ellen Ripley's shared traits. Amanda Ripley's design in Alien: Isolation was based heavily from pictures during Elizabeth Inglis' youth.
Introduced in Alien 3 (1992)
Leonard Dillon (Charles S. Dutton) is the religious preacher of Fury 161 and acts as cleric to the prisoners. An inmate with a history as a murderer and rapist, he has turned to God while incarcerated. Dillon is one of few prisoners who Ripley speaks to shortly after her arrival, and he asks her if she has any faith, and that his men have faith enough to accept and tolerate anyone. He delivers an eloquent eulogy during the funeral for Newt and Hicks, which touches Ripley. When prisoners try to rape Ripley, Dillon intervenes and beats them severely with a crowbar. When Ripley asks Dillon to kill her and the gestating Alien insider her, he promises to do so only once the Alien is dead. Shortly afterwards, Dillon organizes the remaining prisoners to bait the Alien into the foundry, to drown it in molten lead. When the Alien attempts to follow Ripley out of the trap, Dillon uses himself as bait and as it attacks him, Ripley buries both of them in molten lead.
According to Charles S. Dutton, Sigourney Weaver was largely responsible for his casting. In the years leading up the production of Alien 3, Weaver promised Dutton a role in the third film. While he was working on Broadway in December 1990, Dutton was phoned by Weaver, telling him that the studio had approved his casting and that they wished for him to be in London in the coming weeks. Despite liking the film, Dutton found Alien 3 to be a temultuous production, as director David Fincher encountered significant resistance from 20th Century Fox and Pinewood Studios was in need of refurbishments.
Jonathan Clemens (Charles Dance) is the medical doctor of Fury 161. When Ripley crashes into the oil sea, he nurses her back to health and begins showing her around. Clemens performs the autopsy on Newt as Ripley requested, though he is not informed about why, much to his annoyance. In order to gain Ripley's trust, Clemens explains that when he was on a residency, he became intoxicated after a long shift and when there was a boiler explosion, he prescribed the wrong pain killer dosage, killing eleven men. He was sentenced to Fiorina 161 and served his time, but chose to stay behind with the other inmates after they refused to leave. Ripley, however, refuses to divulge the true nature of the events taking place. As Clemens injects her with a serum, the Alien attacks and kills him, then drags his body away.
According to Charles Dance, the character Jonathan Clemens was requested by 20th Century Fox as a new love interest for Ellen Ripley. Director David Fincher initially looked to reunite Paul McGann, Richard E. Grant, Ralph Brown, all actors from Withnail and I, with Grant playing Clemens, but Grant declined the offer. Despite Alien 3 being panned by critics, Dance stated in a feature run by The Daily Beast in 2014 that he considers the film to be superior to Aliens, with its potential being hindered by 20th Century Fox. According to Dance, his portrayal of Clemens gave him the exposure to American audiences that would eventually allow him to act in more prominent roles, such as Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones.
Harold Andrews (Brian Glover) is the warden of Fury 161. He becomes increasingly annoyed with Ripley as she leaves the infirmary, and also takes this frustration out on Clemens, who he distrusts. When Murphy is killed in the ventilation fan, Andrews further places blame on Ripley, suggesting that Murphy was concentrating more on her than he was on his work. When Golic returns from the scene of Boggs' and Rains' death covered in blood, Andrews believes that the "simple bastard" has murdered them. He does not believe Ripley's story concerning the Alien and quarantines her to the infirmary, knowing that Weyland-Yutani find her to be a high priority. Andrews attempts to organize a search party for Boggs and Rains in the mess hall when Ripley bursts in screaming after Clemens' death in the infirmary. He orders Aaron to escort her back to the infirmary, when the Alien then snatches and kills him from the air ducts.
Roz Kaveney expresses in From Alien to The Matrix: Reading Science Fiction Film that Harold Andrews is an allegorical bully figure for Ellen Ripley having lost all her relevance and knowledge that could possibly be palpable for dealing with the settings of the first two Alien films. Additionally, Kaveney muses that director David Fincher adopted Andrews' habit of directing the prison behind monitors is ironic, due to the fact that Fincher directed from behind monitors, much to Weaver's displeasure. In the literary analysis book about director David Fincher, titled David Fincher: Films That Scar, Mark Browning expresses the perspective that Harold Andrews' totalitarian control over Fury 161 makes exception for Dillon's fanatical religiosity, as the character perceives religion as a tool that can prevent violence and provide control. Film critic Malcolm Johnson noted in a review written for the Hartford Courant that Andrews was portrayed as a petty yet potent dictator from the same yolk as Benito Mussolini.
Francis Aaron (Ralph Brown), nicknamed "Eighty-Five" for his low intellectual quotient, is Andrews' assistant and serves as a prison guard. After Andrews' death, Aaron attempts to take charge but the prisoners refuse his authority. Ripley tries to convince him several times that they do not care about him or any other employee, and in fact care more about acquiring the Aliens. He refuses to send the rescue ship away, as he desires to see his family again. Aaron assists Ripley with the bio-scan she performs on herself aboard the crashed EEV and discovers she is subject to Alien gestation. Weyland-Yutani immediately sends a message to the prison stating that the rescue ship will arrive in a matter of hours to pick her up. Aaron arrives at the conclusion that Weyland-Yutani only desires the Aliens. When the prisoners decide to lure the alien into the lead, Aaron calls them crazy and locks himself into his office. When Michael Bishop lands with his team and tries to convince Ripley to leave with him, Aaron strikes Bishop with a large metal rod, nearly ripping his ear off. Aaron is subsequently shot dead by the accompanying soldiers.
Director David Fincher cast Ralph Brown as Francis Aaron, which deliberately reunited the actor with his fellow cast member from Withnail and I, Paul McGann. In Alien Woman: The Making of Lt. Ellen Ripley, Jason Smith and Ximena Gallardo-C. attribute Aaron's body language and general reaction to Ellen Ripley's impregnation, including his attention drawn away from the bio-scan and towards the Alien roaming the facility, to be indicative of Ripley's own state of mind, with no prior consideration made to the real threat being a pregnancy. John Fallon praised Brown's performance in his "Arrow in the Head" review of Alien 3 on JoBlo.com, complimenting the actor for portraying the character in a manner reminiscent of Forrest Gump. In an LA Weekly article written by Michael Nordine, Aaron is noted for being a secondary character whose arc is subtle and surprising, with his loyalty to Ripley and betrayal to Weyland-Yutani going against the preconceived notions about him being company-oriented and unintelligent.
Walter Golic (Paul McGann) is a mentally unstable murderer and arsonist imprisoned on Fury 161. He witnesses the Alien killing Boggs and Rains and is subsequently found in the cafeteria eating cereal, his face covered in blood. Assuming he turned on his fellow inmates, he is promptly strapped down to a bed in the infirmary, under close supervision by Clemens and Ripley. When the Alien kills Clemens, he watches after the creature with deep admiration.
Paul McGann was cast in the role of Walter Golic, in order to play alongside Ralph Brown, his co-star from Withnail and I. The Alien 3 Assembly Cut greatly expands upon Golic's part in Alien 3; Golic persuades Morse to unstrap him in the infirmary after hearing that the Alien has been trapped. He knocks Morse out, goes to the containment chamber containing the Alien, kills Arthur, who is guarding the door, and releases the creature, which promptly kills him. McGann explained in a feature from Elle magazine run in August 1992 that Golic's intentions to release the Alien are based on the hope that he could collaborate with the creature and work together to kill all the humans on Fury 161. In the 2003 special edition DVD release of the Alien Anthology, Alien 3 editor Terry Rawlings states that a parallel is drawn between Golic and Renfield from Dracula, with both being deranged lunatics who fall under the influence of a paranormal entity that they look to appease.
Robert Morse (Danny Webb) is loud, argumentative, cynical, and Golic's only friend. Golic, who has been restrained in the infirmary since the death of Boggs and Rains, convinces Morse to let him loose. Golic subdues Morse and releases the creature. After Dillon's death, Morse helps Ripley get to the top of furnace so that she may throw herself into it, killing herself and the queen. At the end of the film he is seen being led away by Weyland-Yutani personnel, making him the only resident of Fury 161 to survive.
Michael (Lance Henriksen), also known as "Bishop II", is a scientist in the employ of Weyland-Yutani. Ripley meets him in the furnace, where he reveals he is the designer of the Bishop android series. He tells her that his medical team will extract the Alien Queen inside her and destroy it. Ripley believes that he is a liar and backs away towards the furnace. His charade fails and pleads for her to give him the creature. Aaron sneaks up behind him and strikes him with a crowbar, nearly ripping off his ear. He watches in despair as Ripley sacrifices herself by free falling into the giant lead smelter.
Michael Weyland's ambiguous identity as a human is a popular subject of debate for viewers and critics alike, as there is speculation that he is simply a model of android more sophisticated than Bishop. In Cinema of Simulation: Hyperreal Hollywood in the Long 1990s, author Randy Laist interprets this pivotal ambiguity as being indicative of the themes of the Alien franchise, in which the species of a character is irrelevant, as their actions alone matter. In the particular case of Michael Weyland, it would have been inconsequential were he a human or android, as he would still be portrayed as a duplicitous character.
Introduced in Alien: Resurrection (1997)
Ripley 8 (Sigourney Weaver), nicknamed "Number 8", is a human-Alien hybrid, cloned from the DNA of Ellen Ripley and the embryotic Alien Queen recovered from Ellen Ripley's samples from Fury 161. Due to the integrity of the DNA having been compromised by the process of infestation, the human and Alien DNA in Number 8 is intercrossed, creating a humanoid organism with Alien traits, such as an empathic link with the rest of the hive, acidic blood, enhanced strength and reflexes, as well as genetic memories. After the researchers of the United Systems Military extract the Alien Queen from Number 8 aboard the research ship USM Auriga in the year 2381, they keep her alive and give her a rudimentary education, while keeping her locked up. When the Aliens breach containment, Number 8 teams up with the crew of the mercenary vessel Betty to attempt to escape, but is captured by the Aliens, who take her to their nest. Number 8's Alien Queen gives birth to a hybrid called the "Newborn", which identifies Number 8 as its mother and kills the Alien Queen. Number 8 escapes the Auriga aboard the Betty, but faces the Newborn again, which she jettisons into space. After the Betty lands on Earth's surface, Number 8 observes the spectacle with the other survivors and questions their uncertain future.
20th Century Fox initially conceived Alien: Resurrection as being a film centered around a teenage clone of Newt, inspired by the character Buffy Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. However, the studio reconsidered the implications of moving the emphasis away from the main heroine, Ellen Ripley, and ordered screenwriter Joss Whedon to make the story about a clone of Ripley instead. Though actress Sigourney Weaver championed Ripley's death at the end of Alien 3, out of hopes that it would deter the rumored Alien vs Predator films, she supported Whedon's concept of having a human-Alien hybrid, due to the uncertainty the character would face with her loyalties to either half of her genealogy.
Annalee Call (Winona Ryder) is the newest crew member of the Betty and an undercover second generation synthetic, (an android manufactured by other androids to appear more human), who is on a secret mission to kill Ripley 8 and her unborn Alien Queen. After arriving on the Auriga, Call infiltrates Number 8's cell to kill her, only to discover that the Queen has been extracted. Call is apprehended by Wren, who rounds up the crew of the Betty for execution, but they overpower the USM soldiers and look to escape with Wren in custody. Wren shoots Call, causing her to fall to her apparent death, but she reappears and reveals her synthetic origin. Call orders the Auriga to make a crash course into Earth. Aboard the Betty Call is confronted by the Newborn, but is saved by Number 8, who ejects it into space.
The character of Annalee Call was originally written with Angelina Jolie as the preferred casting choice, though she auditioned, she turned down the role and Winona Ryder was cast in December 1996. Call was met with generally negative reception by critics, due in large in large to a perceived lack of synergy with both the film and franchise. Film critic Roger Ebert praised Winona Ryder for her acting skills, but stated that he felt as though she did not bring a strong film presence and that she had a lack of purpose in the film, save for providing a familiar face to younger viewers. Nordling from Ain't It Cool News shared a similar opinion as Ebert's in an analysis in 2012, stating that they found Call's synthetic origin to be unnecessary and that her only role as a character is to be an audience surrogate.
Dom Vriess (Dominique Pinon) is the chief engineer of the Betty and a wheelchair-bound paraplegic. When the Aliens escape confinement, Vriess holds his own with a collapsible shotgun, while he is separated from the group. After he reunited with the group, he is carried on Christie's back and helps defend the group from the Aliens, until Christie sacrifices himself. The group escapes aboard the Betty, which Vriess co-pilots alongside Johner.
Dominique Pinon, along with Ron Perlman, were cast by Alien: Resurrection director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, due in large to the director's habit of casting recurring collaborators in unconventional, marginal roles. In Deleuze and Film: A Feminist Introduction, author Teresa Rizzo discusses how the theme of Alien: Resurrection is hybridization, with the dynamic between Vriess and his wheelchair sharing the same sense of synergy between flesh and prosthetic that Number 8 has with her Alien anatomical composition.
Johner (Ron Perlman) is a crew member and mercenary aboard the Betty. Following the crew's arrival aboard the Auriga, they encounter Number 8, who Johner attempts to seduce. He is overpowered by Number 8, who proceeds to attack the rest of the crew, as well. The Aliens escape captivity, forcing Johner and the rest of the crew to collaborate with Number 8 to escape the Auriga. Johner asks Number 8 how Ellen Ripley defeated the Aliens, to which she responds the Ripley died. Once aboard the Betty, Johner and Vriess co-pilot their damaged ship down to Earth's surface.
Ron Perlman, who had already been a frequent collaborator of director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, claimed in a 2009 AMC Networks featurette that Alien: Resurrection is the only film from his career that he feared for his life. During the filming of the underwater scene, Perlman struggled with the aquatic set and nearly drowned, due to him being unable to make his way to the openings in the closed set. In a notable breaking of character occurrence, Perlman nearly compromised a shot that featured Sigourney Weaver making a basket from behind. Editor Hervé Schneid managed to remove Perlman's reaction from the scene. In From Alien to The Matrix: Reading Science Fiction Film, author Roz Kaveney interprets the character of Johner to be an allusion to monogamous pairing in animals, as a display of Number 8's animalistic nature, as a weaker and aggressive male attempts to seduce a stronger female, but to not avail.
Christie (Gary Dourdan) is a highly-adept mercenary who is the second-in-command aboard the Betty. After Call is apprehended and the crew is rounded up for execution, Christie uses his hidden pair of pistols to shoot the crew out of their situation. With the crew having to go underwater, Christie harnesses Vriess to his back and swims to the opening, which puts them directly in the center of a cluster of Alien eggs. While fleeing from the attacking Aliens, Christie is injured and his foot is snagged by an Alien. He sacrifices himself by detaching himself from Vriess, thereby allowing him to fall into the water below.
Christie's sacrifice in the film is largely considered an easily avoidable and unnecessary plot element, according to critics on sites like Cracked.com and Bloody Disgusting. In Keyframes: Popular Cinema and Cultural Studies, authors Matthew Tinkcom and Amy Villarejo state that the character Christie solidifies the recurring trope of the Alien franchise, in which the black character repeatedly saves, then sacrifices themselves for thew well-being of the Caucasian characters, following after Parker in Alien and Dillon in Alien 3. In Deleuze and Film: A Feminist Introduction, Rizzo elaborates on the theme of hybridization by complementing the symbiotic relationship Christie and Vriess maintain, in that while they are harnessed together, they effectively alternate between the tasks of movement, support and combat.
Frank Elgyn (Michael Wincott) is the captain of the Betty and Sabra Hillard's lover. Elgyn maintains an illegal partnership with General Martin Perez, in which he delivers materials off-the-books, in order to expedite the research and general activities of the Auriga. Elgyn delivers a shipment of humans in cryostasis, which are used as incubators for the Aliens. Elgyn and Perez maintain an understanding that there will be no disruptive activity aboard the station, which is compromised by the saboteur Call. Shortly after the Aliens escape captivity, Elgyn is killed when one pulls him through floor grates and impales him.
Though author Roz Kaveney is highly critical of Alien: Resurrection in From Alien to The Matrix: Reading Science Fiction Film, she does compliment the film for depicting Elgyn as a rough character with tender moments with Hillard, as well as showing his leadership as being the cause for his demise early in the film. Likewise, in John Fallon's "Arrow in the Head" review on JoBlo.com, he compliments actor Michael Wincott's charisma as being one of the few redeemable qualities in the film, despite Fallon perceiving the character as being poorly-written.
Sabra Hillard (Kim Flowers) is the assistant pilot of the Betty and is the romantic partner of Elgyn. After Elgyn's death, Hillard's composure dramatically breaks down as the situation overwhelms her. When the survivors are tasked with swimming to reach their destination, Hillard is hesitant and eventually takes of flank, which inadvertently puts her within the grasp of the assaulting Aliens. The Aliens catch her and swim with her flailing body away.
General Martin Perez
General Martin Perez (Dan Hedaya) is the commanding officer in charge of the USM Auriga and the overseer of the legal and illicit activities. After Ripley 8 is cloned and her Queen embryo is extracted, Perez expresses unease at her enhanced physical and psychological abilities, but allows for her to live, with Dr. Wren and Dr. Gediman being able to continue their research on her. Perez hires Elgyn to abduct a number of humans to serve as incubators for the cloned Aliens and rewards the crew of the Betty with food and lodging, though stresses that they cannot interfere with the research aboard the Auriga. When the Aliens escape and board an escape craft, Perez sabotages them with a grenade. Immediately after, an Alien bites Perez in the back of the head, exposing his brain.
Throughout the drafts of the screenplay for Alien: Resurrection, writer Joss Whedon included a death scene involving a life form being sucked through a small gap in the hull of a ship. In the second draft, Perez was to be sucked through a fist-sized breach in the hull of the Auriga, but this was opted out in the final version, in favor of the Newborn being sucked through the window on the Betty. Executives from 20th Century Fox expressed skepticism over the final draft's cause of death, as they viewed it as an excessively comedic scene that would contradict the tone of the Alien franchise. Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, however, persuaded them to allow the scene to remain.
Doctor Mason Wren
Doctor Mason Wren (J. E. Freeman) is one of the five scientists employed by the USM to clone the Alien Queen. After the Queen is extracted from Ripley, Wren conducts a series of social experiments on Number 8, who he regards as a predator. He discovers Call infiltrating Number 8's cell and subsequently orders the mercenaries to be rounded up and executed. The mercenaries overpower the infantry and take Wren hostage, forcing him to lead them to the Betty. During the commotion of an Alien attack, Wren shoots Call and escapes from his captors. He confronts the crew of the Betty aboard the ship just as Larry Purvis' Alien begin to emerge. Wren shoots Purvis, who manages to overpower him and force his head to his chest. The chestburster erupts through both Purvis' rib cage and Wren's skull, killing the two of them.
Author Roz Kaveney observes in From Alien to The Matrix: Reading Science Fiction Film that Wren is the only character to extend dominance over Number 8. Whereas Johner unsuccessfully attempts to obtain dominance over Number 8 sexually, Wren maintains dominance over her through his physical force and dehumanizing attitude, which he also has with Larry Purvis. In an interview with Total Film in 2013, writer Joss Whedon expressed his discontentment with the casting of J. E. Freeman as Doctor Mason Wren, as the character was intended to have a mysterious element to his unscrupulous activities, which was overshadowed by the typecasting of the role.
Doctor Jonathan Gediman
Doctor Jonathan Gediman (Brad Dourif) is one of five scientists who participates in cloning Ripley, extracting the Queen embryo and managing the cloned Aliens. After the embryo is extracted, Gediman pleas with Wren and Perez to allow Number 8 to live. When the Aliens escape captivity, he is abducted by them when he investigates their disappearance. When Number 8 is taken to the Queen, Gediman is seen cocooned in the lair, yet overjoyed to witness the Queen give birth to a hybrid Newborn through a human reproductive system. After killing its mother, the Newborn and bites into the top of Gediman's skull, spilling his brains.
Writer Joss Whedon wrote Doctor Gediman to be a corrupt and twisted character whose amoral activities would be made more overt later in the film. With the casting of Brad Dourif in the role, however, Whedon felt the mystery element was compromised, due to his perception that Dourif is commonly cast in unsettling roles. In Alien Woman: The Making of Lt. Ellen Ripley, authors Jason Smith and Ximena Gallardo-C. describe Gediman's sense of dominance over Number 8 to be tantamount to Wren's, albeit Gediman perceives her through his overtly sexual undertones as a female predator, while wren views her as a beastly object.
Vincent DiStephano (Raymond Cruz) is a soldier of the United Systems Military. He is one of the soldiers sent to capture the crew of the Betty, but is captured himself by the mercenaries when the rest of the soldiers are killed by the Aliens. He agrees to cooperate with the survivors, to escape the Auriga. When Call's identity of an Auton is revealed, DiStephano summarizes their history as second generation synthetics created by synthetics as sleeper agents. After DiStephano and the group boards the Betty, the ship's cargo hatch is stuck open, prompting Call to fix it, but is confronted by the stowaway Newborn. DiStephano comes to check on her, where he is caught by the Newborn, which crushes his skull.
Initially, Vincent DiStephano was not included in the screenplay for Alien: Resurrection. However, director Jean-Pierre Jeunet admired Raymond Cruz's previous work, so he had the casting director, Rick Pagano, contact Cruz and introduce the two. DiStephano was subsequently added in as the remaining soldier and guide for the band of survivors. In Alien Zone II: The Spaces of Science-fiction Cinema, author Annette Kuhn interprets DiStephano's death at the hands of the Newborn as a perverse joke, due to the juxtaposition of the infantile curiousness and features contrasting the gruesome method.
Larry Purvis (Leland Orser) is one of the test subjects who were kidnapped, to function as incubators for the facehuggers. After being impregnated and subsequently rescued, Call offers to take him along so they can be freeze him in cryostasis, so the Alien embryo could be surgically extracted at a later date. Aboard the Betty, the survivors are ambushed and held at gunpoint by Dr. Wren, when Purvis begins convulsing. He staggers over to Wren, who unloads his weapon into Purvis. Through sheer adrenaline, Purvis stays on his feet and overpowers Wren, placing the scientist's head against his chest. The Alien erupts through Purvis' rib cage and Wren's head, killing them both.
Larry Purvis' character arc of overcoming his victimisation and heroically sacrificing himself to defeat his captor were well received by film critics. In From Alien to the Matrix: Reading Science Fiction Film, Roz Kaveney compliments the execution of the arc as being one of the most satisfying elements from Alien: Resurrection, as an otherwise unremarkable and universally disrespected character is pivotal in ensuring the survival of the protagonists, as well as providing Dr. Wren with poetic justice. In Cinema of Simulation: Hyperreal Hollywood in the Long 1990s, Randy Laist attributes Pervis' action as "[turning] the givens of his techno-scientific reinvention into a source of resistance against the techno-scientific apparatus".
Introduced in Prometheus (2012)
Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) is an archaeologist and the central protagonist of Prometheus. After discovering a series of identical cave paintings depicting a star chart alongside her lover, Charlie Holloway, the couple convinces Weyland Corp. founder Peter Weyland to finance an expedition to a probable origin candidate, the moon LV-223. After arriving at the moon and awakening in 2093 aboard the ship, the USCSS Prometheus, Shaw and Holloway introduce their theory about the star charts having been created by Engineers, a hypothesized technologically advanced species that created humanity. Upon entering the structure covering the Engineer ship, the Juggernaut, near where the Prometheus has settled, Shaw discovers a large volume of Engineer corpses, as well as a preserved head, proving her and Holloway's theory. After having sex with an infected Holloway, Shaw is impregnated with an extraterrestrial organism, which she has surgically removed. Shaw stumbles upon Peter Weyland, who had previously faked his death, in order to stay alive long enough to meet an Engineer currently in cryosleep, so his youth could be restored. After conversing with Janek about the nature of the Engineers, Shaw concludes with him that they intended to destroy humanity, so she joins Weyland's expedition. Shaw demands the Engineer to tell her why they intended to destroy humanity, but she is subdued. After witnessing the Engineer decapitating David and killing the entire expedition, Shaw convinces Janek to sacrifice the Prometheus by flying the ship into the Juggernaut. Shaw returns to the Prometheus' life support unit, where the Engineer attacks her, only to be subdued and impregnated by Shaw's extraterrestrial offspring. David contacts Shaw and convinces her to come back for his head and body, so he may pilot another Engineer ship. Shaw asks him to take them to the Engineer's home world. With a final report detailing the events to Earth, Shaw and David depart from the moon.
Shaw's religious passion is considered the central theme and driving force behind the events of Prometheus, with her perceived search for God being the cause for the disastrous outcome of the expedition. During the development of Prometheus, actresses Charlize Theron, Anne Hathaway, Natalie Portman, Gemma Arterton, Carey Mulligan, and Abbie Cornish were all considered for the role of Elizabeth Shaw. Noomi Rapace first came to director Ridley Scott's attention in 2009, when he watched the film adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, in which Rapace portrayed Lisbeth Salander. Scott and Rapace met in 2010 and by January 2011, she was attached to play Shaw. Rapace, being a native Swede, trained with a dialect coach to imitate a British accent, to fit with the character's back story. Shaw was generally well-received with critics, with many drawing parallels to Ellen Ripley- a perception Rapace expressed apathy towards. In a four-star review of Prometheus, Roger Ebert praised Rapace's performance for being in the same vein of a strong female lead as Weaver's performance in Alien. For her portrayal of Shaw in Prometheus, Rapace was nominated for the Choice Movie Breakout award at the Teen Choice Awards. Rapace's return in Alien: Covenant was initially uncertain throughout the development of the film, as Rapace and the filmmakers gave contradictory statements about her involvement. However, she was confirmed to be returning in a smaller capacity in June 2016, with the filming of her scenes lasting a week.
David 8 (Michael Fassbender) is Peter Weyland's synthetic assistant who secretly follows his master's directives aboard the Prometheus. The eighth in a line of David models, representative of Weyland's unfulfilled wish for a son, David is constantly at odds with Weyland's disowned daughter, Meredith Vickers. While the Prometheus is en route to LV-223, David spends his time studying the assumed dialects of the Engineers, as well as human culture and the dreams of the crew. Following the arrival at LV-223, David accompanies the expedition to the Juggernaut, where he acquires a vial of a black extraterrestrial liquid. On Weyland's orders, David contaminates a drink he hands to Holloway, so that he may impregnate Shaw with an extraterrestrial life form. David further explores the Juggernaut and cuts his feed to Vickers, to give Weyland private screening access as he studies the ship and learns of a last surviving Engineer in cryosleep. David prepares Weyland for the expedition to the Juggernaut and leads the expedition to awaken the Engineer. He translates Weyland's request for immortality, prompting the Engineer to decapitate him and murder the rest of the expedition, save for Shaw. David's severed head witnesses the Engineer launch the ship and prepare to leave the atmosphere, which is thwarted by Janek crashing the Prometheus into the ship. David warns Shaw about the Engineer coming to kill her. He contacts her after she escapes the life support unit and tells her that he would like to help her escape LV-223, as he can pilot another of the Engineers' ships. After Shaw recovers his head and body, he promises to take her to the Engineers' home world. Together with Shaw, he leaves LV-223 behind. Ten years following the events of Prometheus, David is discovered by the colony ship Covenant as the sole inhabitant of a hellish world originally thought to be paradise.
After the synopsis to Prometheus was revealed in 2011, writer Damon Lindelof had a sit-down interview with MTV, in which he described David's primary function in the story as being the robotic, non-human observer of the narrative. With the release of Prometheus, Lindelof further commentated on David, saying that his apathy as a synthetic is a central theme of the film; while his human architects enviously search for their creators, he suffers disillusionment from being confined by them, as he perceives himself as a superior being. Michael Fassbender, who was director Ridley Scott's first choice for the role from the inception of the project, was cast as David in January 2011. Rather than borrowing inspiration from the portrayals of synthetic characters in the previously released Alien films, Fassbender instead studied the replicant character Rachel in Scott's 1982 science fiction film Blade Runner. Fassbender based his vocal patterns on the HAL 9000 computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey, the movement patterns of Olympic diver Greg Louganis and the performances of David Bowie in The Man Who Fell to Earth, Dirk Bogarde in The Servant, and Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia. Fassbender received universal critical acclaim for his portrayal of David. Fassbender was nominated for Best Supporting Actor by the London Film Critics' Circle and the Saturn Awards.
Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) is an upper-level employee of the Weyland Corporation and the estranged daughter of Peter Weyland. Vickers joins the Prometheus expedition, serving as a corporate overseer. After the ship settles down in 2093, she explains her lack of faith in the merit of the mission to Shaw and Holloway. While monitoring monitoring sensors deployed by Sean Fifield called Spectagraphs, Vickers is seduced by Janek and the pair have sex in her quarters. She collaborates with David, who provides her with a feed of his mission to explore the secrets of the Juggernaut, but is cut from access, as he takes direction from Peter Weyland. When Holloway becomes infected, Vickers refuses his entry to the ship and at his insistence, incinerates him with a flamethrower. As Weyland prepares to meet the Engineer, Vickers warns him that "a king has his reign, and then he dies", drawing an allegory to him. After witnessing her father's death over a live feed, Vickers orders the Prometheus to return to Earth. However, Shaw convinces Janek to ram the Prometheus into the embarking Engineer ship. Realizing that she cannot avert the situation, Vickers has herself and her life support unit jettisoned to LV-223's surface. Shortly after landing, Vickers is caught in the path of the rolling Engineer ship, which crushes her.
Michelle Yeoh and Angelina Jolie were two early casting options for portraying Meredith Vickers. Charlize Theron was initially approached to portray Elizabeth Shaw, which she turned down, due to scheduling conflicts with Mad Max: Fury Road. When Fury Road was delayed and her schedule cleared up, Theron was cast to play Vickers, opposite of Rapace. After being cast, Theron collaborated with director Ridley Scott and writer Damon Lindelof to create new scenes to develop the character's backstory and persona. Theron interpreted the character as a villain who maintains a secret agenda that undermines that of the mission. Vickers was written, costumed and acted with the intention of portraying the character as being disassociated from humanity. Vickers' physical similarities with David raise the possibility that not only was his design was intentionally a mimicry of Weyland's true, biological child, but that she could be an android herself. Theron's portrayal of the character was well-received; she was nominated for Choice Summer Movie Star – Female by the Teen Choice Awards.
Janek (Idris Elba) is the captain of the Prometheus. Following Holloway's suggestion, Janek sets the Prometheus down near the artificial structure containing the Juggernaut. Throughout the duration of the expedition, Janek remains aboard the Prometheus, observing the schematics Fifield's Spectagraphs develop. Janek seduces Meredith Vickers and the two have sex, while Sean Fifield and Rafe Milburn radio for direction. Alongside Vickers, Janek recognizes the Juggernaut to indeed be an Engineer ship. While Shaw prepares to join Weyland on the expedition to awaken the Engineer, Janek cautions that he is confident that the Engineers had ill intentions with the biological weapons and that he would do whatever is necessary to protect Earth's interests. When Vickers orders Janek to bring the Prometheus home, Shaw tells him that the Engineer ship is headed to Earth to release the black liquid and wipe out the human race. As such, Janek decides to pilot the Prometheus into the Engineer ship and asks that everyone leave. The assistant pilots, Chance and Ravel, refuse and assist Janek in running the ship kamikaze into the Engineer ship, crippling it and saving the human race.
In February 2011, Idris Elba, best known at the time for playing Stringer Bell in The Wire, was reported to have joined the cast of Prometheus in an undisclosed role. With the release of the film, Elba elaborated on Janek's background, which includes a career as a longshoreman and sailor with a comprehensive motivation for maintaining the well-being of his crew. Roger Ebert praised Elba's performance, calling it the character's evolution to be the most interesting.
Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) is the elderly founder and owner of Weyland Corporation. The estranged father of Meredith Vickers and the creator of David, Weyland faces an impending death from old age, so he desires the opportunity to meet the Engineers, so his youth may be restored. Having been convinced of the authenticity of Shaw and Holloway's findings and hypothesis, Weyland finances the expensive voyage of the Prometheus to LV-223. While he projects himself as the already-deceased benefactor of the mission, he is actually aboard the ship, where he directs David to uncover the Engineers' secrets and to infect Holloway with the black liquid. Shaw stumbles into Weyland's private quarters, where he prepares to meet the last Engineer in cryosleep. At the Engineer ship, he has David talk to the Engineer, which receives interference from Shaw, who he orders to be subdued, if not shot. When the Engineer hears of Weyland's purpose, he reacts by decapitating David and using his head to fatally bludgeon Weyland. With his dying breath, Weyland laments to David that the voyage was in vain.
Writer Damon Lindelof conceptualized Peter Weyland as being a man with a massive ego who suffers from a god complex; his motivations correlate to pursuing godhood and are hubris. During the early development of the film, director Ridley Scott intended for actor Max von Sydow to portray Weyland, though he came to favor Guy Pearce for the role, once a scene was written that would have featured a younger version of the character. In order to compensate for the aging of the character, heavy prosthetics were applied to Pearce, which required five hours of application and one hour of removal. Pearce studied heavily to replicate the speech patterns and physical movements of an elderly man. Though the appearances of the younger version of Weyland were written out of the final screenplay for Prometheus, the film heavily marketed the character with the promotion of a fictional, futuristic TED talk in which Pearce portrays him without prosthetics. Pearce's performance as Weyland was generally negatively received, due to the unconvincing prosthetics and the unnecessary casting of a 44-year-old actor portraying a 103-year-old man. The marketing for the character, however, was well-received, with the Weyland Industries web campaign being awarded by the Key Art Awards.
Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) is an archaeologist who discovers the star charts throughout caves around the world with his lover, Elizabeth Shaw. After awakening from cryosleep near LV-223, Holloway introduces the purpose of the mission alongside Shaw. While the Prometheus flies over the moon's terrain, Holloway spots an artificial arrangement of structures and directs the ship to be set down near one. Holloway embarks with the first expedition crew to the concealed Juggernaut and upon entering, discovers that the air is clearer than anywhere known on Earth, prompting him to remove his helmet. After Shaw retrieves a preserved Engineer head, the expedition is informed of an incoming storm, prompting Holloway and the rest of the crew to return immediately to the Prometheus. Disillusioned by the Engineers being apparently extinct, Holloway takes on a sour demeanor and questions Shaw for still being a Christian, to her disgust. David brings Holloway a drink and the two discuss the merits of creating beings. Unknown to Holloway, David taints a drink with a minute organism he picked from a cylinder he had secretly brought from he structure and offers it to Holloway, thereby infecting him. Holloway has sex with Shaw shortly after, impregnating her with an alien embryo. After seeing a small extraterrestrial parasite in his eye, Holloway returns for another expedition to the Engineer ship, but falls terribly ill. As the expedition returns, Holloway takes a turn for the worst and the infection becomes overt. Vickers intercepts Holloway with a flamethrower before he can enter the ship. Holloway tells Vickers to kill him, which she does.
Logan Marshall-Green was first considered for Prometheus when casting director Avy Kaufman attended an "off-off-off Broadway" he was playing in. Kaufman requested that he produce an audition tape for what she described as a "science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott". Scott reviewed the tape and subsequently offered Marshall-Green the role. In a release feature published by Empire magazine, Marshall-Green described Holloway as a thrill-seeking scientist who "looks before he leaps". Contrasting his deeply religious lover, Shaw, Holloway was described by Marshall-Green as being a "scientist", "skeptic" and "atheist". Though Marshall-Green's performance was generally deemed competent by critics, the character itself received underwhelming acknowledgment. Oliver Lyttelton of IndieWire expressed disappointment at the character not being explicitly contributory to the plot, aside from his mutation. In a negative review of Prometheus, Nick Pinkerton from The Village Voice specifically criticized the lack of chemistry between Rapace's Shaw and Marshall-Green's Holloway.
Fifield (Sean Harris) is a geologist who serves aboard the Prometheus. After waking up, he rejects the friendly advances from Millburn and casts doubt on the authenticity of Shaw and Holloway's mission hypothesis. He accompanies the expedition to an artificial structure, where he deploys his Spectagraphs, which begin to develop a layout for the Juggernaut. When the expedition encounters a decapitated Engineer corpse, Fifield abandons his research and leaves the group, with Millburn following. The pair become lost and fail to rendezvous with the rest of the expedition that departs on account of the storm. The two find a mound of Engineer corpses, as well as a hidden room containing the now-thawed and mutating black liquid. They encounter Hammerpedes, extraterrestrial eel-like creatures, which attack them. Fifield decapitates one, causing its corrosive blood to melt his helmet. The now-deformed Fifield travels back to the Prometheus, where he attacks the crew and murders several members before being killed.
Sean Harris was reported to have joined the cast of Prometheus in February 2011, alongside Idris Elba and Kate Dickie. Harris described Fifield as being the audience surrogate, who is extra-cautionary and asking questions about approaching dangerous situations. Jon Spaihts, the writer of the original incarnation of the prequel project titled "Alien: Engineers", scripted out Fifield's mutation to turn him directly into an Alien, via the black mutagen, essentially tying the continuity of the film into the Alien canon. During the development of the film and its evolution into Prometheus, director Ridley Scott decided to veer the story away from the direct context of the previous films, as he had an interest in establishing a separate canon. In an alternate, deleted take depicting Fifield's mutated visage, the character appears as a more heavily deformed creature with vague character traits reminiscent of the Alien, including an elongated cranium beneath the melted, translucent helmet, elongated arms, as well as sharp teeth. The final depiction of the character retained the distinction of Fifield's human appearance.
Millburn (Rafe Spall) is a biologist who is a part of the Prometheus expedition. After awakening, Millburn attempts to kindle a friendship with Fifield, who rebukes him. He joins the initial expedition to the Engineers' artificial structure concealing the Juggernaut, where he tags along with Fifield, after being spooked by the massive quantity of corpses. The duo gets separated from the rest of the expedition, resulting in them being stranded in the ship. Millburn and Fifield enter the room containing the thawed black liquid, where they find Hammerpedes. Millburn attempts to pet one, resulting in it attacking him, breaking his arm and the forcing its way down his throat. When the crew of the Prometheus returns the next day, they find Millburn's lone corpse, with a Hammerpede residing in his throat.
Rafe Spall auditioned for a separate role, but director Ridley Scott requested that he portray the character Millburn. Looking to emulate the genuine shock reactions the members of the cast from Alien experienced during the infamous chestburster scene, Scott did not forewarn the members of the Prometheus cast that there was a Hammerpede puppet lodged in the silicon replica of Spall's body. As such, Kate Dickie's reactionary scream is genuine. Millburn was a heavily criticized character, due to the depiction of a biologist reaching out to pet an unidentified extraterrestrial organism displaying hostile posturing. Spall defended the character's logic, citing a deleted scene in which Millburn holds a smaller, docile version of the Hammerpede.
Introduced in Alien: Covenant (2017)
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