Happy 30th anniversary, you bitch!
July 18 will mark three decades since James Cameron’s Aliens was released in theaters — which is only a little over half the time Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley spent in hypersleep after the nightmare events of 1979’s Alien. In Cameron’s sequel, she awoke to learn her old life was gone – and new life in the form of a pioneer colony had sprung up on the empty planet where she and the deceased crew of the Nostromo encountered the hyper-predatory Xenomorph.
It was not enough time for the two species to learn to live in harmony.
To commemorate the release of the 1986 action/sci-fi classic, EW can reveal that San Diego’s Comic-Con will host an Aliens reunion on Saturday, July 23. Both Cameron and Weaver will participate in the Q&A in the 6,500-seat Hall H, along with producer Gale Anne Hurd, Bill “Game Over” Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Paul Reiser, Michael Biehn, and the all-grown-up Carrie Henn.
“That should be fun. Get the usual suspects back together,” Cameron says.
Weaver says she’s looking forward to reuniting in front of fans, having recently been inspired by an Alamo Drafthouse screening of the film that felt like “a horrific sing-along” (in a good way.) “One of my great moments in … life, frankly, was by the time we got to that line, the whole audience yelled it with Ripley,” she told EW in a separate interview.
You know the one.
“It was so fabulous, you know?” Weaver says. “They were so ready to say that line.”
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is also releasing a new Aliens 30th anniversary Blu-ray and Digital HD edition on Sept. 13, which will feature a new interview with Cameron on the design and inspiration of the film.
Pre-orders will be taken at Fox’s Comic-Con booth, and the first 250 will get a lithograph image of Ripley locked in mortal combat with the Alien Queen.
The anniversary release will include both the original theatrical cut and the special edition, which features more about the past and child Ripley left behind — and lost forever. It will also come with a commentary track, and previously released deleted and extended scenes.
The Blu-ray set will come with collectible art cards featuring concept sketches by Cameron and a book featuring art from the Dark Horse Comics Aliens series.
There will be much to discuss at Comic-Con, since not only is it a look back at a sci-fi classic, but Weaver is working with District 9 filmmaker Neill Blomkamp to create a new Aliens sequel, one that picks up where Cameron’s film left off and somewhat de-canonizes David Fincher’s Alien 3 (1992) and Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Alien: Resurrection (1997). “It’s just as if, you know, the path forks and one direction goes off to three and four and another direction goes off to Neill’s movie,” Weaver says.
Cameron, meanwhile, is busy with four sequels to Avatar. But he says Aliens holds a special place for him.
“You know, it’s interesting. I don’t normally pursue these kind of nostalgia moments like we’re going to do down at Comic-Con, and I didn’t do it much at all for Terminator on its 30th, but there’s something about Aliens,” Cameron says. “It was a milestone for myself and Gale because the film got seven Academy Award nominations.”
It won two — best sound effects editing and visual effects. The other nominations were best actress for Weaver, editing, original score, sound, and art direction.
“All of a sudden, we were playing in the big league,” Cameron said. “So looking at it retrospectively, you know, [Gale] and I both feel that was more of our graduation, or breakthrough, than Terminator — even though Terminator’s the film that put us on the map.”
If you want to offer up your own Aliens question, tweet @Breznican, who will moderate the Comic-Con Q&A.