a) Hollywood's disinterest
While indeed there had been some discussions on a sequel for Alien for some reason, the studios seemed to not be interested in doing a sequel, although in the twenty first century, if they got the vibe that it was going to be successful, they would have a sequel on the tracks. Back then at the time of the film they didn't see this as being a franchise.
b) Ivor Explores writing a sequel/prequel
However as a genuine scifi buff, a writer himself and because of his close involvement in the Alien production seeing many points of development in the movie production that fans of the movie would only dream of seeing.
Ivor did find himself in the following years writing a thirty or forty page thing based on the idea of a prequel, to explain the mysteries of Alien.
Hollywood wasn't interested and wanted him to change the script to something else and he gave up
|Final version of the Life Cycle Tableau|
However Ivor was absolutely fascinated by what HR Giger had been working on that never quite found their way in to the Alien movie, for instance the hieroglyphic tableau that was going to be found in the derelict's entrance corridor which had some sort of Egyptian/ galactic Alien background to it, and it never got into the final movie.
(see Placement of the life cycle tableau)
The other point of interested was a bit of speech that Ash the robot gives about the alien monster, what it was about.
He found it all very interesting and indeed , what exactly was the space jockey, and where did it come from.
Although some of this was finally explained in Prometheus, in terms of the exploration of those mysteries as they originally were, it didn't touch on it at all for him and so he found himself bitterly disappointed. (See: The robot head speaks. )
- Ivor Powell: Immensely disappointed, yeah, yeah, yeah. I did actually, um, um I write as well, and erm, I was trying for years on since they made Alien 1, I used to go home at night and write away, you know, convince myself I was a writer. Fox were not interested in making, I don't know when. When was Aliens made, actually er. 80s?
- Ivor Powell: yeah. Initially, yeah, after the first Alien, they weren't interested in doing a sequel, you can imagine nowadays, before you'd even like finish the first one, if they sort of got the vibe it was going to be successful, they'd already have a sequel on the, you know, on the, on the tracks, but this took a long time, because they weren't really, they didn't see er, that it was a franchise, and I remember writing a thirty, forty page er sort of thing, based on the prequel, because that's the sort of thing that I found absolutely fascinating about was all Giger's, there were a lot of things that never got, you never saw er, in Alien 1, like there was the entrance to the er, the derelict ship, the alien derelict, there were these sort of hieroglyphics and things like that, that he did at a certain sort of Egyptian / sort of galactic sort of alien sort of background, and none of these things got seen, but all that fascinated me and I think the little sort of bit of speech that er um er, the robot Ash gives about the kind of this, this, what this creature's about, I just, I found really fascinating and what was the space jockey, you know, where did he come from and all that, and I know some of it got vaguely explained in Prometheus but for me, it didn't touch it at all, didn't didn't, so I was bitterly bitterly disappointed (Alien Q &A, Genesis Cinema, August 23rd 2014)
- Wmmmvrrvrrmm: I wish that I could see that er, your little... erm ... Alien prequel... script... treatment.... thing, that would be wonderful
Ivor Powell: Yes, it was fun.
Wmmvrrvrrmm: But, I know, I just.. it's the idea of all those strange ideas in the background
Ivor Powell: (barely audible recording so I just hope these are the words) You've heard this. They threw me out in Hollywood all right on first time and anything, but didn't want me there, they wanted me to change it to something else, I thought now what do I do (After the Alien Q &A, Genesis Cinema, August 23rd 2014)