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March 28 2013

Danny Boyle on Joss Whedon - "He was always a wonderful writer". In an Empire Online podcast, Danny talks about working on Alien Resurrection and praises Joss' script (relevant bit starts around 24:44).

If any of you nice people whould have told me ten years ago that Dany Boyle would call Joss a star director i would have asked for the brand of pot you were smoking... ;)
For anyone else who was confused about Danny Boyle's involvement in Alien Resurrection, from Wikipedia:

Danny Boyle was the producers' first choice to direct the film. Boyle and his producer met with effects supervisors to discuss the film, but he was not interested in pursuing the project. Peter Jackson was also approached, but declined as he could not get excited about an Alien film. In 1995, after the release of The Usual Suspects, 20th Century Fox approached Bryan Singer to direct. Jean-Pierre Jeunet was asked to direct, as the film's producers believed he had a unique visual style. Jeunet had just completed the script to Amélie and was surprised he was offered the job for Alien Resurrection, as he thought the franchise had finished with Alien 3 and believed that making a sequel was a bad idea. Jeunet, however, accepted the project with a budget of $70 million. He required a translator as he did not speak much English when filming began.

What was it about Alien:Resurrection? What happened there? Where's the significance? Most people have a hard time admitting they've even seen it!
As an owner of the Quadrillogy Box set-I can say I watch it more than Cameron's-but there are still some things that occur in A:R that should be explained/atoned for. thoughts?
I personally think Resurrection is enjoyable. I prefer it to 3, but it is not as good as Aliens or Alien (which is clearly the best.). As a fan of Whedon, it is also interesting to see the early foundations of Firefly.

It has a lot of flaws (Ripley making out with the alien Queen!) but also some wonderful moments (Ripley burning the failed clones.) I don't think it deserves the ridicule it receives, but I can definitely understand why Whedon was upset by everything that went on with it. This could have been his big break and he was working with a franchise that had been so informative for him that someone messing up his vision must have been tough (and reminiscent of his experience with the Buffy movie.)
So Joss may have been unduly characterized as the person responsible for having the Alien push the button with it's teeth? THAT was the moment my movie-going experience took a turn.
At the time we met, he could read my misgivings about that project on my face. (I am thankful they brought the whole thing to a close in an original and quick manner-rather than the Battle for/on Earth scenarios. I find it more satisfying than Cameron's 3 Final Fights which resolve in the same 'airlock' stunt of the original.)
I believe I commended him for turning the monster inside-out. (At least I should have.) That was original thinking....
I should point out I find A3 to have the best visuals-if not sfx, and really some astounding characters/performances/quotable one-liners.
I spoke to Joss about the Alien films, (he's a big fan of Aliens..) and he said it was the worst experience he's had in the business. (Which given what happened with Firefly and Angel really shows how much he got messed around.) From what he said, it seems Joss felt that the director had no business making a film where not only wouldn't the director speak to the writers, due to language barriers, but also his ideas on the ridiculous creature at the end of it, which wasn't in Joss's earlier drafts at all, and was very much a last minute addition.

He seems very pained about it to this day. As he never believed killing Newt off in Alien 3 was something that ever should have happened. And in his earlier drafts it was Newt who was cloned, before Sigourney came on board again, and the studio had it changed to Ripley.
Though he did say that he thought Sigourney was about the only person who came out of that film with dignity intact, as he thought the changes on set really messed up the characters.

Oh and he also disliked the 2nd Alien vrs Predator film. Not just the story but the way it was shot. Strangely enough he doesn't hold the same disdain for the first Alien vrs Predator movie which he didn't think was all bad, due to the way it was done in a remote setting.
I've always had a sneaky suspicion that Joss protests a bit too much when it comes to Alien Resurrection, but this makes that somewhat less likely, I think.
Jas-child actors present a real problem. In order to have that actor bring that character in a meaningful way for the audience, A3 would have had to start shooting the day Aliens wrapped. As it is, the death of Newt added greatly to the characters, drama, and visualization of that film. As it played, I don't think I would want Newt on Fury 161. (Joss and I never got into all of that.)
Alien Resurrection, I think it can be said, was a junior project of his-he lacked the clearer track record he has now, and the attendant clout. It's good that he learned some lessons then-so he can soldier today. I guess his talent has always been evident (that IS the point of the article, no?) So we can see how his status today is vindicated.
Always a hope for A5, right? or AvPvRipley?

[ edited by BarryC on 2013-04-01 19:38 ]

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