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Iconic Sci Fi Flick Celebrates its 35th Anniversary: 15 Facts about Alien
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Iconic Sci Fi Flick Celebrates its 35th Anniversary: 15 Facts about Alien

The film world is buzzing in anticipation of the sequel to Ridley Scott's Prometheus, the 2012 blockbuster that com...

Iconic Sci Fi Flick Celebrates its 35th Anniversary: 15 Facts about Alien

The film world is buzzing in anticipation of the sequel to Ridley Scott's Prometheus, the 2012 blockbuster that combined Sci Fi and horror, which is set for release sometime in 2016. The first installment made $400 million. When Scott envisioned Prometheus, he imagined the film as a prequel to an already well-known franchise, the Alien movies. He changed his mind in later announcements, stating that Prometheus is a stand-alone film, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Prometheus contains the narrative seeds for Alien, the film that launched the careers of both director Ridley Scott and actor Sigourney Weaver in 1979. The film’s tagline, “In space, no one can hear you scream” became a household phrase, and the movie’s subsequent success launched three more films, as well as the Alien vs Predator spin-offs. It was 35 years ago today that the first Alien film premiered and a new form of Sci Fi was born. In honour of this anniversary, we searched for the tidbits that any obsessive fan would love to know.

 

 

1. The name of the cargo ship Nostromo was taken from Joseph Conrad's novel of the same name.

 

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2.The design of the film’s set and the xenomorph were so frightening that the sketches were held up in customs until screenwriter Dan O'Bannon went to the airport to explain that Giger's designs were to be used for a horror movie.

 

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3.In the aftermath of the Star Wars craze, many directors wanted to direct an epic Sci Fi movie with lots of guns and battles. Before David Lynch ended up as the director, some other directors were considered for the job, including Ridley Scott and Alejandro Jodorowski. Scott worked on the film for a year but had to abandon the production when his brother was killed in a car accident. Jodorowski also gathered a strange crew of creatives to help him envision the movie, which was based on Frank Herbert's books: Dan O'Bannon, painter Salvador Dali, comic artist Moebius, and Swiss surrealist painter H.R.Giger. When Giger and O'Bannon met for the first time, it was reported that Giger had been smoking opium to unleash his creative vision.

 

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4. Sigourney Weaver was an unknown actress when she auditioned for the movie. She was the last of seven actors to be cast.

 

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5. One of Giger's first ideas regarding the xenomorph was to make it without eyes, so it would look soulless and more chilling.

 

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6. The character Ash, played by Ian Holm, was not envisioned as an android. The idea of turning him into a robot was introduced by the film's producers Walter Hill and David Giler.

 

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7. For the long shots that featured the astronauts landing, Scott and cinematographer Derek Vanlint put their own children in space suits in order to make the human astronauts smaller next to the extraterrestrial pilot, The Space Jockey, who is found on the planet's surface.

 

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8. Many aspects of the original plot as written by Dan O'Bannon did not make it into the finished film. Eventually, these ideas remained with the ever-curious Ridley Scott, who for years wanted to return to the story of the Space Jockey. When the sequel to Aliens was made in 1984, he said that had it been up to him, it would have explored what the Alien and where it came from. Scott returns to these questions in Prometheus.

 

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9. The actors were kept in the dark about the famous scene where the alien emerges from actor John Hurt's body. This was a deliberate move on the part of Scott, who wanted to capture genuine reactions.

 

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10. The cat Jonesy was played by four different cats, and in order to scare him, the director hid a dog behind a screen.

 

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11. Scott was initially hesitatant to have the Alien as a man in a suit, but eventually the Nigerian born student Bolaji Badejo was hired after several female models and Peter Mayhew, the actor who played Chewbaca in Star Wars, were tested.

 

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12. The blue lights that emit from the eggs were actually lasers belonging to The Who. The equipment was borrowed from the rock group, who were next door rehearsing.

 

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13. The slime that comes out of the alien's jaws was actually made of K-Y jelly.

 

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14. Alien was awarded an Oscar for Best Visual Effects and was nominated for Best Art Direction.

 

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15. Scott is known for starting the Director's Cut movies, and several of his films, including Blade Runner, were re-edited to align more closely with his unique vision. In 2003, Alien: The Director's Cut was released but Scott dismissed it, saying that the additional scenes were redundant and that the original version was flawless.

 

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