Behind-the-scenes footage shows Sigourney Weaver absolutely nail iconic behind-the-back basketball shot from 'Alien: Resurrection'
The Alien franchise is a weird one.
You've got the stone-cold sci-fi horror classic in the first film (which is basically a haunted house slasher flick, except the serial killer is a space monster and the house is a spaceship). Then there's the insanely-popular sequel, Aliens, which switched out the horror element for some 80s action and some of the most quotable lines in movie history. And then you've got Alien 3, which was similar to the first in a lot of ways, though in a new location and with what seemed to be a definitive end.
This being Hollywood, however, no one was willing to call it a day when there was still money to be made.
That's what led to Alien: Resurrection, one of the weirdest left-turns a popular movie series has taken - at least until Jason X saw Friday the 13th's Jason Vorhees go to space (and the future).
From there, we went on to see the iconic xenomorph turn up in Alien vs. Predator and Alien vs. Predator: Requiem, before the series went the prequel route with Prometheus in 2012 and Alien: Covenant last year. Regardless of the strange things that turned up in those four movies, they don't really hold a candle to the absurdity on display in Alien: Resurrection.
There's secret robots, cloning facilities, superhuman strength, and... an extended basketball scene. Just like 2003's flop Catwoman, the makers of this movie decided the best way to show of Ripley's enhanced abilities was in a basketball competition of sorts, although this one turns violent pretty quickly. However, regardless of the strange route it took to get to that point, the movie did give us one memorable moment.
At the end of the aforementioned scene, after she's squared off against the hostile mercenaries she's sharing the ship space with, Ripley rubs their defeat in their faces with a behind-the-back basketball throw, without even looking to see how it turned out.
You can watch the full scene in the video below:
So, how did the filming of that go down? You can imagine there being dozens, if not hundreds of attempts to get it right. Or, they could go the easy route and just use some classic movie magic to edit the scene to look as if she pulled it off. However, it turns out that not only did she really do it, but it was Weaver's idea in the first place.
She had practised, getting her success rate down to one in six, but on the actual day she found that she had to do it from even further away. As it was around 20 feet away, the plan was for her to simply make the gesture, and they would fill in the ball with CGI in post-production. However, Weaver insisted on doing it the old school way. Check it out:
The best bit about the clip for me is her co-star Ron Perlman's reaction afterwards, as he is completely unable to hold back his smile when he sees her complete the shot. Apparently, the crew panicked that he had ruined the shot by breaking character, but they managed to edit it down to avoid catching his out-of-character reaction.
Lucky for us, the behind-the-scenes footage caught the entire thing. Is the NBA hiring?