a) Knowledge of the Alien
Gareth who directed Monsters in 2010, also directed the 2014 version of Godzilla and then the Star Wars film Rogu Own released in 2016, he considered Giger's alien to be one of his top three movie monsters recognising it as something unique and a big step forwards in terms of creature design and was another person saddened by the new of Giger's death on the day it was announced. In terms of the films themselves, he wasn't entirely sure whether he liked Alien or it's sequel Aliens the best.
His Godzilla movie would be full of references to Giger's work, and so Giger's alien design would be one of the influence on his monster Muto that would be Godzilla's adversary for the film. His intention wasn't to make it definitely reminiscent of Giger's creature but because it was part of the path of exploration, he found that it way into the final design along with the other inspirational creatures, such as King Kong, Jaws, the tyrannosaurus rex, the giant insects from Starship Trooper. However on at least one occasion he decided to say it was the Alien Queen rather than Giger's Alien
|concept art for Muto|
c) The Eadu landscape
When he made Rogue One (2016), he included a planet in that was very much inspired by the mysterious unnamed planetoid in Alien.
- Den Of Geek: Did you hear the sad news about HR Giger?
Gareth Edwards: I know, and our movie’s full of it. HR Giger’s probably one of the biggest influences on me.
Gareth Edwards: I did, at lunchtime. It’s so sad.
Den Of Geek: He was such an influence on cinema. When you mentioned Alien just then, it reminded me. ( http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/godzilla/30507/gareth-edwards-interview-making-godzilla-spielberg-giger#ixzz3hfNA1lQ5)
- Gareth Edwards: We went for a combo of all our favourite monsters from every movie. Part-shark, part-Alien Queen, part-Starship Troopers, part gorilla… They’re kind of an amalgam”. (Empire Magazine, April 2014?)
- Gareth Edwards: 3.) It’s a tough one, but I think I would
probably say, somewhere between Ridley Scott’s “Alien,” and James
Cameron’s “Aliens.” I just think the design of that creature is just
phenomenal. Like H.R. Giger no one’s come close to something that unique
or something that big a step forward in terms of creature design.
- Interviewer: And what about you know, you've teased us before, other creatures being in the movie, were you using the same kind of process out of that, obviously Monsters, there were many many creatures in that film
Gareth Edwards: Um, yeah, I mean . The, the, I think it's out there now that there is maybe something else in the film obviously
Gareth Edwards: Possibly. And, er, we wanted to do something unique. Trying to find a unique monster in this day and age, erm , one of the designers summed it up "well, it's like trying to find the last parking space at Disney world" or something, it's like, so many monsters have been done in so many films, like trying to come up with something that feels different, is, is really hard, and we spent, I mean we must have spent over a year or so designing whatever it is, and erm, and we basically looked at all our favourite monsters from T-Rex to, to, H R Giger's Alien to Starship Troopers to Jaws, to King Kong, and what is it, what is it about each one that makes them like so iconic and then try to dial those aspects in, and it's funny because we, we didn't it consciously, but we kept what about this, try this, try this, try this, we kept mutating it, and doing different things, and having different generations until we found this, until we sort of arrived at something, okay that looks really cool, and then we looked back at it and went, hang on, the head looks like that monster and the arms look like that monster, and realised that all these inspirational creatures, it kind of ended up in our thing, and that felt appropriate really 'cause we set out to kind of do this, you know, kind of, try and combine all those elements but in a way that felt like cohesive be... you know creature that wasn't like a monster... Frankenstein's monster, but like, yeah, it all has, it all looks like it was evolved from the same, er, organism. ( The Verge, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pa26RU2PHgE 13th, April 2014)
- But what about inspiration from other films? “There was a lot of films in there,” says Edwards. “Like Apocalypse Now, Alien, even Blade Runner. The interiors of Blade Runner, that aesthetic. It feels like that 70s timeless sci-fi that hasn’t dated. If you were ever gonna go slightly away from Star Wars, they were a good reference. Things like Thin Red Line.”The most surprising mention there is Aliens, Ridley Scott’s more gothic sci-fi/horror classic from 1979. But as Edwards explains, there’s a very specific place where Alien’s stamp exists in Rogue One: “When you see a planet in the movie called Eadu, it’ll make a lot of sense.”(https://filmschoolrejects.com/that-timeless-sci-fi-gareth-edwards-on-taking-risks-with-rogue-one-40d2d7d9da77#.moxsfp22v)
- Gareth Edwards: Films that I used in there that got high score were Apocalypse Now; a little of Thin Red Line, and there’s a planet in our film that’s very much inspired by Alien. Also Blade Runner, THX-1138 and of course the original Star Wars. (http://www.fandango.com/movie-news/from-alien-to-blade-runner-here-are-the-films-that-inspired-rogue-one-a-star-wars-story-751647)