"We want Male Actor X."
"Nah. Sigourney Weaver will kick all the ass."
Actually, Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett wrote all of the roles to be gender-neutral because they want to concentrate on getting the plot and setting right. Weaver was cast (in her very first lead in a movie -- she'd otherwise only done bit parts) because they specifically wanted to throw off the male-led tropes dominating sci fi at the time.
I'm not sure Ripley fits that archetype very well, since her survival isn't tied to her femininity much at all, let alone to the usual creepy stuff about chastity and the divide between "good" and "bad" femininity implied by the Final Girl concept. And by the sequels the Final Girl stuff doesn't apply at all.
She faces the villain (the villain she’s apparently been successfully resisting alone for years!) and she’s instantly, summarily defeated. Her husband and son utterly overshadow her; they need to rescue her twice in maybe five minutes.
Burke: Hold on a second. This installation has a substantial dollar value attached to it.
Ripley: They can bill me.
Ripley: You know Burke, I don't know which species is worse. You don't see them fucking each other over for a goddamn percentage.
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