The coming and going of Jean Giraud "Moebius"
a) Moebius arriving
Ridley Scott managed to get in contact with Moebius who responded with enthusiasm
Dan O'Bannon was told "We hired Moebius!"
Dan replied "Wonderful"
They said "He's coming over"
Dan replied "Great!"
The French illustrator whose work had graced the pages of the magazine Metal Hurlant that Ridley Scott had been introduced to by Ivor Powell during their days of filming The Duellists in Dordogne, Jean "Moebius" Giraud arrived and Dan was very glad to see him, he had been looking forwards to getting him involved in the production, and of course he would have been someone that both Ivor Powell and Ridley Scott were very eager to meet. Dan hadn't seen him since the Dune production.
b) Moebius starts work
Moebius regarded Ridley Scott with his creativity as a kind of an enlightened amateur, in that way he would compare him to George Lucas the director of Star Wars, and as an illustrator, Ridley was a professional. He felt as if he was a kind of a brother asking him to do something that he didn't have time to do. Moebius had started working immediately, he drew the space suits and also he had done some sketches of derelict ships and a space jockey in its pilot chamber with a head borrowed from a sketch by Chris Foss. During this time Giger only had indirect contact with Jean Giraud.
c) Moebius quickly waves goodbye
However on the first day that he arrived, it was discovered that there had been a misunderstanding about the salary. He thought that they were paying him $5000.00 a week, when in fact they were paying him $500.00 a week, and he couldn't afford to work on that basis at this time because of his expenses, so he gave them the space suit designs, got on the plane, and went back to France. Jean Giraud counted fifteen days in all of work that he did. And so Dan realised, they were just using him. They used the suit design, but that was the end of his involvement and the money.
d) Years of the Alien aftermath
In years to come, he would be heavily credited by the French media for his work in the movie production just as much as Ron Cobb might be credited for the main work in the film by the USA , and England would talk all about the work of Chris Foss in Alien and Switzerland would talk about how Giger had done all the work in Alien. Jean Giraud was not so interested in playing the media game for this although he could not stop the decades of media and advertising benefits that it led to, but at the same time he was open to good resulting opportunities that came his way.
- Dennis Fischer: What about Moebius? I had heard that he was involved?
Dan O'Bannon: Oh what a terrible misunderstanding. When I arrived in England, I was told, "We hired Moebius!" I said "Wonderful!" They said "He's coming over." I said"Great!" He arrived,, I was so glad to see him. We talked. He had started the design and he had started by designing the spacesuits, and he was ready to sit down and get to work. On the first day he arrived, it was discovered that there had been a misunderstanding about the salary. He thought that they were paying him $5000.00 a week, when in fact they were paying him $500.00 a week, and he couldn't afford to work on that basis at this time because of his expenses, so he gave them the space suit designs, got on the plane, and went back to France. They used him. They used the design, but that was the end of his involvement and the money. (Rocket's Blast Collector #148)
- Jean Giraud/ Moebius: In art, Ridley Scott is a kind of enlightened amateur, a bit like George Lucas, also Ridley is an illustrator himself, he's a professional. So when he contacted me, I felt that he was a kind of brother. asking me to do something that he didn't have time to. I knew very well that I was competent but I also knew what my place was. The success is in good part due to the quality of Giger's work and the genius he had to imagine this extraordinary creature. (In search of Moebius (BBC 4 Documentary)
- HR Giger: I was in contact with Moebius indirectly as he was designing the costumes for "Alien". Those astronauts' clothes and helmet just like Ridley Scott wanted them. They looked like ancient divers. He did a fantastic job. (In search of Moebius (BBC 4 Documentary)
- Numa Sadoul: Nous n’avons pas parlé d’Alien.
Jean Giraud/ Moebius: Je l’ai souvent dit et répété: Alien, ça a été quinze jours de travail et dix anées de retombées médiatiques et publicitaires !
Numa Sadoul:Tu n’as pourtant pas fait grand-chose dedans.
Jean Giraud/ Moebius: Presque rien: quelques scaphandres, quelques costumes d’intérieur... Mais, si tu veux, en France, j’étais Moebius qui avait dessiné dans Alien, donc j’y avais tout fait. En Suisse, c’etait Giger qui avait tout fait . Aux USA, c’etait Ron Cobb. En Angleterre, Chris Foss
Numa Sadoul: Mais cela aurait pu t’ouvrir les portes d’une abondante production similaire.
Jean Giraud/ Moebius: Tout à fait, mais je ne veux surtout pas jouer ce jeu-là. Je ne refuse pas non plus certaines bonnes occasions quand elles se présentent (Moebius Entretiens Avec Numa Sadoul)
Numa Sadoul : We have not talked about Alien.
Jean Giraud/ Moebius: I have often said and repeated: Alien, it's been fifteen working days and ten years of media and advertising benefits!
Numa Sadoul : You have not yet done much in it.
Jean Giraud/ Moebius: Almost nothing: a few suits, some interior costumes ... But if you want, in France, I was Moebius that had drawn in Alien, so I did everything. In Switzerland, it was Giger who had done everything. In the USA, it was Ron Cobb. England, Chris Foss
Numa Sadoul : But it could open your doors abundant similar production.
Jean Giraud/ Moebius: Absolutely, but I do not want to play that game. I do not refuse either some good opportunities when they arise