Classic 1979 movie Alien is already a pretty bleak film, but if director Ridley Scott had been allowed to have his way, it would have ended in a much darker place – and one that would have made sequels featuring Sigourney Weather as Ellen Ripley completely impossible.
Ahead of the release of sequel Alien: Covenant next month, Scott has revealed how top executives at 20th Century Fox stopped him from killing off his main character.
In the film as audiences saw it, Ripley had one final showdown with the extraterrestrial as she was fleeing the ship in her shuttle before it exploded. But the monster wasn’t supposed to win.
Scott revealed to Entertainment Weekly his original suggestion: “I thought that the alien should come in, and Ripley harpoons it and it makes no difference, so it slams through her mask and rips her head off.”
But that didn’t go down too well with the money men.
“Now I’m pitching this to the studio, and I could feel the tension over the phone,” he recalled. “‘Rips her head off!’ And there’s this long silence. ‘And?’ I said, then I cut to the desktop and the alien’s hand comes in and then in a perfect mimic, mimics Dallas’ voice and says, ‘I’m signing off.'”
He added: “The first executive arrived within 14 hours from Fox, tried to fire me on the spot. So we didn’t do that.”
However, the director now thinks it was “right” to keep Ripley alive. The character went on to star in three more films.