I got some things to share with you about a particularly favorite movie series of mine, Alien. Specifically, 8 things. More specifically, 8 things you may or may not have know about the production of Alien, from the 1979 original to Alien Covenant, and if you did, congrats you’re just as much as , if not more of a fan, than me.
Much like other science fiction franchise movie series’, I have a love hate relationship with Alien. What is amazing, is truly just that. The stuff that isn’t, turns the series into campy schlock. But at the end of the day, it’s enjoyable schlock.I also like that, whether the results are good or bad, the Alien franchise isn’t strictly horror.
It can transcend genres.
If you haven’t seen the 1979 Alien by Ridley Scott, to this date his best film apart from Blade Runner, it is, the least to say, a formative film for science fiction in entertainment as we know it today. It creates a haunting, hollow and isolated atmosphere as it builds tension within a crew aboard a spaceship where the very essence of human survival clashes with the nothingness of technology aboard the ship, and nothingness of space surrounding it, staving off a vicious organic creature that we later learn is an engineered weapon of mass destruction.
These roots are maintained throughout the franchise, but the genre shifts when James Cameron helms Aliens and makes it into a large scale action film, Fincher attempts to turn it into a political thriller and Jean-Pierre Jeunet made it into… a French surrealist movie.
Now that we’ve got Alien Covenant arriving, I wanted to compose a list of things that are unique about the production of this franchise. Of course there’s tons of things people will already know, so I’ll be skipping over those.
Your run of the mill tidbits like Meryl Streep almost playing Ripley (potentially alongside Harrison Ford as a co-star), or John Hurt sticking his head out from under a table for the chestburster shot, a Xenomorph skull in Predator 2, you’ve heard all of that.
Let’s be real, the production of these films, and of H.R. Giger’s visionary work, is nightmarish and erotic in nature. If you want to see the content I’m about to divulge further, my main reference piece was a book titled ‘Alien: The Archive,’ and is a must have for fans of the franchise with interviews, production stills and concept art by Giger and Fox, and it was my main tool in putting this together.