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Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Alien

Neil Blomkamp. The poster art for Ridley Scott's 1979 film Alien. Things you probably didn't know about Alien.

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Horror fans are unlike any other breed of cinephile. We go to great lengths to unearth little known facts about our favorite feature films. Because of that, it’s a challenge to find trivia that will pass fact checking and surprise dedicated fans. But, in spite of that, we have taken it upon ourselves to attempt to unearth some lesser-known details about Ridley Scott’s Alien. Read on for: Things you probably didn’t know about Alien.

The space suits caused the actors to pass out from lack of oxygen

The suits that the cast donned for the film were a hodgepodge of different kinds of equipment, ranging from hockey apparel to diving equipment. Since the suits were not originally rigged with a breathing apparatus, cast members began fainting from lack of oxygen. Eventually, after several incidents, the suits were fitted with oxygen tanks to keep the performers from passing out.

The script was originally called Starbeast

The title Gremlin was also considered at one point in time.

Ripley was initially written as a man

Ripley was a male character in early drafts of the script but in an attempt to shift the paradigm, the part was rewritten as a woman. Ridley Scott and the producers wanted to portray the film’s protagonist as a strong female to change some of the conventions typically associated with science fiction cinema.

There was no Ash character in the original script

It wasn’t until one of the many rewrites that Ash was written into the film.

There was over an hour removed from the original cut of the film

Had the edits not been made, the running time would have been 3 hours and 12 minutes.

Roger Corman almost produced the film

Dan O’Bannon and Ron Shusett sent their version of the script to Roger Corman for consideration and Corman went so far as to make an offer. However, at the last minute, the screenwriters decided to hold out for the possibility of a better offer. Shortly thereafter, 20th Century Fox got on board.

Ridley Scott’s storyboards inspired 20th Century Fox to double the film’s budget

The original budget was set at 4.2 million but Scott’s vision instilled enough confidence in the studio that they decided to double the budget. When all was said and done, the estimated production costs are closer to $11 million.

Meryl Streep almost played Ripley

The documentary footage included in the Alien anthology Blu-ray revealed that casting came down to either Sigourney Weaver or Meryl Streep.

The apparatus that makes the alien egg open is exceptionally strong

Ridley Scott once claimed that it was powerful enough to rip someone’s hand off.


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Written by Tyler Doupé
Tyler Doupe' is the managing editor at Wicked Horror. He has previously penned for Fangoria Mag, Rue Morgue Mag, FEARnet, Fandango, ConTV, Ranker, Shock Till You Drop, ChillerTV, ComingSoon, and more. He lives with his husband, his dog, and cat hat(s).
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