Alien: Alternate endings for Alien

Leading from
Alien: Making the Movie   




a) Alien in a flask?
A storyboard (above) by Ridley Scott for Alien showed a version of the creature huddled in a perhaps a stasis flask, with no further words given about the idea.

b) Alien kills Ripley and pilots the Nostromo
Gordon Carroll and Ridley during their evening ruminations after the shoot, would always sit there with a drink, mostly like the Little Rascals that Gordon made, with their feet throbbing on the desks and they would be asking "How will we finish the movie?"

Back in 1978, a person could drink and drive, no one really cared. Correctly made vodka Martinis are lethal, but Gordon was the master of making the, Ridley learned from him and that would be his favourite drink for many years to follow.

They would be drinking in his office just before they wrapped up for the day at 8pm, sitting there ruminating saying "you know this ending, and you know it's not quite right" and so Gordon and Ridley like a pair of typical genius, after two vodka martinis on that occasion started having a conversation.

Obviously wanting something slightly different from the idea that Dan had come up with for his original Alien script. One night they came up with a bright idea about killing Ripley, they thought,  "wouldn't it be great if he comes out the wall, comes out the box, Sigourney gets the suit on, the thing comes at her, she gets the space gun and shoots him in the chest, and he goes out through the door but it makes no difference, he just rips the harpoon out of his chest, comes forward, and this thing can rips through the visor, tears her head off and basically kills her?"

So they were going "wow, that's a great idea"

And then Gordon asks "And then what"

Ridley continued "Well, then what? You got the desk with all the buttons"

And then this hand comes in and starts you know, pausing over the buttons, taking them all in, big shadow of the great head, ok. And then the hand, tap tap, tap, tap tap tap, so we have intelligence. You even hear the creak and he& then a quite good interpretation of Dallas   voice comes from this creature behind you which has been listening to Dallas or listening to her, maybe, maybe copying her voice and does the last signing off speech saying `hopefully the network system will pick me up, this is Lieutenant Ripley da da da, signing off, hopefully you ll pick me up , cut into space and see this capsule shooting into space with an alien in it. Ok?

Then the scene cuts to the desk and the audience sees the shadow of the great kind of horse's head shape of the alien's head, and there is the creak as it sits in the leather seat and the hand comes in over the buttons and starts to press them tentatively, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, so we have intelligence. You even hear the creak. Then a voice comes out, and it would be a pretty good mimic of either Dallas or Ripley, maybe copying her voice sending a message back to Earth doing the last signing off saying "Hopefully, the network will pick me up, this Lieutenant Ripley" da da da "signing off, hopefully you'll picking me up" cut into space, see this capsule shooting through space towards Earth with an alien in it OK?"


Or would the voice have been Captain Dallas'
  
Ridley and Gordon in their slightly inebriated state thought this was such a great end that they decided to get on the phone immediately with Hollywood. Ridley talked about this with Laddy (Alan Ladd Jr) and perhaps Gareth Wigan, perhaps Tuesday night. Laddy and Wigan would always talk in the speak phone so you always knew you were talking to a room full of people and Ridley described the end and there was this huge pause, silence, and they said "Well, we don't think that's a good idea."

Perhaps within 18 hours or certainly by Thursday morning, Gareth Wiggan and David Giler arrived from LA in the studio saying, saying "What the..., what are you talking about? Are you crazy? Are you out of your minds?" threatening to fire him on the spot

Ridley admitted "Yes,  I know I had a bad idea"

So they never got to do that, and Ridley admitted that they were right

c) Spore beneath the Nostromo
Online version of Dan O'Bannon's original script mentions that the escape shuttle has a spore pod adhered to the underbelly of the craft.

d) Spore in the Nostromo
One idea was to have an egg on board the Narcissus, Once they showed a preview to the audience a final scene where there was a cocoon in a corner of the shuttle. Giger thought it was very nice but they cut it out, he wasn't sure whether it was a good idea to take it out, he saw some rushes which he liked but decided that if Ripley thought it should be taken out, then it should be

e) Facehugger alert
Bill Pearson had heard talk at the end of the film about doing a shot of the facehugger clinging to the Narcissus ending which inspired  Geoff Topping an interviewer for Fantasy FX International to remember that had seen a storyboard where is looked as if the Alien was realised as an amorphous piece of jelly secured to an engine, Bill went on to further talk about what he remembered, how Sigourney would be seen in the hypersleep chamber and then the camera pulls back through the hull to see a living part of the alien. Miniature models of the alien were made up to be positioned around the engines of the Narcissus but they were never shot. There was also extensive use of bluescreen of the side view of the Narcissus. Dolly passes on the large section of the Nostromo were filmed, so that they could be used as a background element as the Narcissus flies past at the end of the movie. Dennis Bartlett oversaw the filming and they were shot on the model stage but were never used

Quote source
    1. As SNARK 2 drifts past camera, we suddenly see that A SPORE POD IS ADHERED TO THE UNDERBELLY OF THE CRAFT. (Online version of the original Alien script) 
    2. HR Giger:  Oh, yes. There was an egg on board. Once we showed a preview audience a final scene where there was a cocoon in a corner of the shuttle. That was very nice but now it is no more. There were a lot of different ideas in the original version that they thought it was best to take out. I don’t know whether it was a good idea to take it all out. I just saw some rushes and they looked good. But if Ridley decided to take it out, then it should have been taken out, because I think he is a genius. We always agreed about things so I think if I saw both versions, I would like his final version better.  (Famous Monsters of Filmland #158, p32)
    3. Bill Pearson: There was also talk at the end of the film that we were going to do a shot of a face hugger clinging to an engine

      Geoff Topping: There is a similar concept in one of the early Alien storyboards - where the Alien is realised as an amorphous piece of jelly - where it is secured in an engine

      Bill Pearson: The idea was that you would see Sigourney in the hypersleep chamber and then pull back through the hull where you would see a living part of the Alien

      We also made up miniature Aliens to position around the engines of the Narcissus but they were never shot. There was also extensive use of bluescreen of the side view of the Narcissus. Dolly passes on the large section of the Nostromo were filmed, so that they could be used as a background element as the Narcissus flies past at the end of the movie. Dennis Bartlett oversaw the filming and they were shot on the model stage but were never used (Scifi & Fantasy FX International 48, p26)
    4. (1:50:08) Ridley Scott: Er, it's an interesting thing... anecdote to say but um we thought, at one stage, er, Gordon Carroll and I, much rumination in the evenings after shooting, we'd always sit there with a drink and our feet up throbbing on the desk and er, we were saying "How will we finish the movie?" And we came up one night with the bright idea of actually, at the very end, killing Ripley, and erm, we thought, "wouldn't it be great if he comes out the wall, comes out the box and she shoots him in the chest and he goes out through the door but he just rips the harpoon out of his chest, comes forward, and basically kills her?" Then you cut to the desk and you see the shadow of the great kind of horse's head over the desk and you hear the creak of the seat as the.... sits in the leather seat and the hand comes in over the buttons and starts to press tentatively on the buttons. And then this (01:51:00) voice comes out, which is a pretty good mimic of either Dallas or Ripley sending a message back to Earth saying that they're on their way.  And therefore you have the alien hurtling through space in a shuttle going towards Earth. Of course I recounted one evening over the telephone to Laddy and I think Gareth Wigan. I think that was a Wedn.... Tuesday night. By Thursday morning we had two executives arrived from LA saying, "Are you out of your minds?" you know. And I said" Yes I know I had a bad idea" but ye-huh-huh-huh, (chuckle) but erm , err, whether they do another one or not, I don't know. And erm, Ripley still lives, so there you go.  (Commentary from Alien Quadrilogy)
    5. Ridley Scott:  And there always a funny story cause Gordon Carrol and I we d always ruminate every evening after a day s work or however late it was cause Gordon was the master of making a vodka martini. And so he would& in those days he s drink, you could drive and drink, I mean nobody cared. Now of course correctly vodka martini is lethal. And but Gordon is the master of vodka martini. That s how I learned to make vodka martini, off Gordon Carrol you see. And they re still one of my favourite drink. And so we d had one of those before you wrapped at 8, sitting in the office. So we d always sit in there ruminating saying `you know this ending and you know it s not quite right... and Gordon and I like a pair of geniuses, I think we d had 2 vodka martinis on this occasion, we started talking saying if we have, and... Sigourney gets the suit on, this thing comes at her, she gets the space gun, she shoots this thing in the chest but it makes no difference. And this think hand, rips through the visor, tears her head off and we then& kills her. So we re going wow, that s a great idea. And then what, Gordon said. I said Well, then what? You got the desk with all the buttons. And then this hand comes in and starts you know, pausing over the buttons, taking them all in, big shadow of the great head, ok. And then the hand, tap tap, tap, tap tap tap, so we have intelligence. You even hear the creak and he& then a quite good interpretation of Dallas   voice comes from this creature behind you which has been listening to Dallas or listening to her, maybe, maybe copying her voice and does the last signing off speech saying `hopefully the network system will pick me up, this is Lieutenant Ripley" da da da," signing off, hopefully you ll pick me up' , cut into space and see this capsule shooting into space with an alien in it. Ok?
      Interviewer that 's a great end.
      Ridley Scott: so, Gordon and I thought it was such a great end we decided get on the phone immediately with Hollywood and I remember getting Alan Ladd and Gareth Wiggan on the phone and they d always talk in the speakphone so you always knew you were talking to a room full of people and I described the end and there was this huge pause, silence, saying `well, we don t think that s a good idea   and I think within 18 hours I think Gareth Wiggan arrived... with David Giler in the studio saying `what the... what are you talking about?   you know, `are you crazy?   so we never got to do that. And they were right of course.  (As reported from the interview for Alien Evolution)
    6. Walter Hill ( with a chuckle): We thought it was one of the worst ideas we ever heard, and we did what we could to squelch the idea. In the end, good sense prevailed.(https://www.yahoo.com/movies/alien-end-ripley-dead-producer-walter-hill-chuckles-one-worst-ideas-ever-heard-164421647.html)
    7. Scott suggested the following: “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. (http://ew.com/movies/2017/04/03/alien-ridley-scott-alternate-ending/)
    8. Next, Scott says, he’d have cut to the tentacles of the alien pressing buttons on the dashboard. “It would mimic Captain Dallas [Skerritt] saying, ‘I’m signing off.'(http://ew.com/movies/2017/04/03/alien-ridley-scott-alternate-ending/)
    9. “The first executive from Fox arrived on set within 14 hours, threatening to fire me on the spot,” says Scott with a laugh. “So we didn’t do that [ending].(http://ew.com/movies/2017/04/03/alien-ridley-scott-alternate-ending/)
    10. (http://ew.com/movies/2017/04/21/alien-covenant-michael-fassbender-details/?xid=entertainment-weekly_socialflow_twitter) 

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